Chicago Sun-Times
Discussions across the racial divide

About Kramer's racist rant

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After watching a video-clip of "Seinfeld" has-been, Michael "Kramer" Richards, going into a racist tirade in response to black hecklers at a West Hollywood comedy club, I have only one question:

Are African-Americans still confused about the word "nigger?"

Click here to watch the video
WARNING: This video contains graphic language.


Nigger is what some white people call black people behind their backs. Nigger is what some other white people call black people when they are annoyed or angry, and Kramer was obviously p---- off.

I learned how easy it is for the age-old slur to slip out of a white person's mouth early in my working career.

A white co-worker was so upset by something her boss said, she ran crying into the bathroom. I followed and attempted to console her. While I'm patting her on her back, the co-worker suddenly looked up and said with malice: "He can't treat me like a nigger!!

I don't think she even considered that she was talking to a black person.

Unlike "cracker" and "white boy," racial epithets that are often used in routines by black comics, the word "nigger" cuts to the bone because it is loaded with historical hatred and disrespect.

But Kramer, like many white people, doesn't get it.

He says he spewed the slur because he lost his "cool" like that makes a racist rant more acceptable.
Like my former co-worker, Kramer has a word for black people and it isn't African-American.

Even so, it's difficult for me to be too shocked by Kramer's use of the "n" word when black people are calling each other niggers in front of white people everyday.

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231 Comments

Now blacks know what it feels like when a black comic racially attacks white people, which is a regular occurance. To say that "cracker" or "white boy" is more acceptable than "nigger" is hypocritical and racist. I think Michael Richards should be commended for speaking his mind. I only wish he would stick to his guns and stop with the fake apologies. BTW, seeing the hundreds of millions of dollars he made on "Seinfeld", calling him a has-been might be inappropriate. It's more appropriate to call O.J. Simpson a has-been.

Apparently some young black (& white & hispanic) men are still confused about the word, particularly the rapper-thug wann-be's.
Black folks should lead by example & NOT use this awful word, thereby giving them a leg to stand on when denouncing non-blacks that use this word.
As funny as Richard Pryor was, the days of using this word in comedyor in any other form are over. Unless you're in the KKK, of course.

As a hispanic male, i'm not offended. Blacks are an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude. A racist bunch themselves. Take what you dish out and move on.

I am more hurt by whom said it , than what was said. I faithfully watched all espisode of Jerry to see krammer, Because I thought Krammer is Krammer, I didnot attach a stigmation on him ,not even white. I see him in another light now.

You should be more than ashamed and unaccepting of the tirade he displayed. Regardless if blacks use that name on each other or not, we all know the difference. It doesnt take a rocket science to figure that out, no pun intended. He knew he was wrong and he knows what weight that word holds, which is why he said it over and over again. Had he not been caught on camera, I doubt, I highly doubt he would apologize. Funny, his "staff" claim he has apologized, but no public apology? Smells like a racist to me.

And here's another tidbit, for you to be an African American woman and not be offended by the use of the N word, whether it be around other blacks or not shows where your priorities are. The Sun Times must pay pretty good, eh?

MITCHELL COMMENT:

I'm just as offended when blacks use the "N" word as I am when whites use it. I'm sure I've been clear on that point.

Richards will get a PASS on this because he is Jewish. If he were a Christian like poor Mel Gibson, the incident would not go away so easily...mark my words.

11/21/06

In my opinion no one blasts out racial remarks to such depths and lengths unless they are comfortable enough to consider blacks inferior to themselves. This guy made hate speech to convey his inner beliefs that blacks have no right to heckle if they believe that they are not getting what they paid for. Didn't the former Senator of Virginia also attack a citizens' race in the form of a public attack?

I agree with Ms Mitchell except for one thing...it doesn't matter if black people use the "n" word to each other. It doesn't mean the same. Richards meaning of it was far from friendly. Let's say we're friends, and you do something in jest and I say "you jerk!" and you laugh and I laugh, and everything is okay. But what if I had a history of not liking you and I said you are such a (bleeping) jerk! Its not as funny. Same thing with the n-word. Our white friends know the difference, trust me.

I am totally disgusted with his behavior. I really loved watching Seinfeld. I can no longer watch it. I am so sick of racist people using any excuse and or forum to show their true colors. Goodbye Seinfeld and good riddance Kramer!!!

Although it offends me that Mr. Richards found it necessary to use the word "nigger", it does not bother me as much as his comments about "lynching". It really is upsetting that for all the terrible things Mr. Richard's said about lynchings and what was happening to blacks 50 years ago, everyone is focusing on the word "nigger". Which in light of everything else Mr. Richard's said, seems to me to be kind of inconsequential.

I just want to know how long are we going to be hated...come on...give me a date...the next century....WHAT??? okay, Let's due a breakdown...you tried to kill us...okay...you destroyed our families with the hatred you feel..okay..You put us in jail for crimes we didn't commit..You steal from us on every level...Let me tell you something. We are here to stay..You know what people should do, who hates a group of people,Take it up God...He's the one with the answer...He has us here for a reason. So, no matter what you do or say. Guess what? We are still going to be here.....It's getting old white people. It's getting old!!!!!

His career should be over..POINT BLANK!!!

Good point, Michael Knight. I'm a white guy and have read all sorts of crazy rhetoric about this idiot and what he said. Your comment made the most sense of any I've seen. And yes, I do know the difference.

I agree with several others in that it doesn't matter whether or not Blacks use the word. He knew the difference. If he didn't, he wouldn't be on the show apologizing. Personally, I'm tired of Black folks always blaming ourselves for the racism of whites. I could care less whether we use that word or not, they SHOULDN'T, and they know it. The fact that they want to use it so bad is simply an indicator of how they feel about us. Is it easier for us to beat up on our own behavior before we dare question the integrity of a white man? That would be so sad.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

What does it mean then when blacks get angry and call another black person the "n" word. Why is that acceptable?

Get over it, many black comedians(Eddie Murphy) use racial slurs against white people and its totally acceptable.Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and grin and bear it like white people do.

JUST SOME OBSERVATIONS:
Sticks and stones....
Are blacks less racist than whites or is it just that white racists are more publicized?
I seem to remember some statistics recently published in this newspaper by independent and government sources about test scores, incarceration levels, and fatherless households of blacks vs whites. Can you guess which way they lean?
Stereotypes exist for a reason - they don't arise "out of the blue".
When will the political correctness stop? Can it get worse?
Wouldn't it be nice if adult folks were accountable for their own actions, had thicker skin, stopped fingerpointing? - just as we were taught in grammar school.
Go out, get a job, obey the laws, be a productive member of society. This is what will turn racists into non-racists.

Jerry, shut that stupid mess up. (I'm referring to the first person who posted on the blog) Nobody was called "white boy" while they were being hung from trees! Nobody was being called "cracker" while they were dragged out of their houses to be lynched. Nobody was called "honky" while their houses, businesses, and churches were firebombed. It's NOT the same. And what the hell do you mean, "now Blacks know what it feels like?" Fool, have you ever heard of Blackface? Have you? Have you ever seen how Blacks were made fun of in this country. YOU are the one who will NEVER know how it feels to be degraded in such a way. And stop running around saying that anything that Black people do is racist. Puhlease! I didn't see all these white folks so worried about racism and hypocrisy when Black folks were getting hoses and dogs turned on them in the streets. Now y'all wanna be so conscious about racism. Whatever. Even the dumbest person in the world knows not to let the criminal define the crime!

Ms. Mitchell, I never said I even condoned the usage of the word by African-Americans, and I certainly didn't say that it was appropriate to use amongst ourselves when we're angry. But to imply that the word holds as much venom and history in it when it's said by a Black person as opposed to when it's said by a white person is ridiculous.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

No. What's ridiculous is black people defending the use of nigger, period.

"It's what lies just beneath the surface" That's what he said. Beneath the surface of an arrogant, over privileged, minimally talented, career way-past-it's prime white guy. Desperate, pathetic, ugly, & over. Straight up 100% racist. He outed himself.

Siobhan, take a good look at what year you are living in!

Joe, perhaps white people need to "grin and bear it" because they made Black folks "grin and bear" slavery and state-sanctioned prejudice for a total of more than 500 years. If that's all y'all get for all the crimes you've committed, you oughta thank God and keep it moving.

Jerry, have you ever thought that more blacks have lower test scores, are incarcerated and have fatherless households because of something like, I don't know, SLAVERY! Nothing that happens occurs independent of history. Slavery still effects African-Americans to this day in ways which a shallow-minded individual such as yourself could never wrap your mind around. Thicker skin? Shoot, I think I like Richard's racist tirade better. At least he was being honest in his disdain for Blacks. You're trying to cloak yours in a pseudo-intelligent argument based on nothing but numbers.

I am a white woman and I am horrified and disgusted by Richard's coments. There is right and wrong in the world and he was wrong period! No excuses. I am personally embarassed even though I never cared for him or Seinfeld. No one can be responsible for the actions of another but I am very sorry for all the innocent children who may be hurt by the remark.

"Even so, it's difficult for me to be too shocked by Kramer's use of the "n" word when black people are calling each other niggers in front of white people everyday."

Thank you for that admission, Mary.

They also use "that word" in front of "black people" every day

You forgot to use your usual terms "brothers" and "sisters" when you wrote "black people".

As you and I both know: "black people" and "white people" are all brothers and sisters.

I am tired of this all, to be truthful. Yes, I am white but I don't like the "N" word either. However, I also don't like the names the whites are called.
Admittedly, the afro-americans have been called these dumb names much longer than the whites have, at least openly. Now that Black Comics use the words "Honky", "Cracker", etc.,in their acts, we whites ought to realize how they felt all along.
Why don't we cut the crap and ALL take a lesson from the children...
"STICKS AND STONES WILL BREAK MY BONES, BUT NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME!" Maybe we can get over all this nonsense.

Hey this guy has made millions of people laugh for years and since he has done more good than harm leave him alone. What if he would have said shanty Irishman or Mick would all of us good Irish get on his case- no we would open another case and toast him

While "nigger" was the racial epithet that was most used during his tirade. He said much more that should be focused on and will not lead in to the discussion of comparing "Nigger" to "White boy" or "Cracker" or did the its used by blacks "allow" Richards the ability to use it. Which takes the discussion away from the main subject Mr. Richards. Stop with the diversion folks and address the issue.

Richards stated that "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside-down with a fucking fork up your ass" a reference to lynching. Saying Nigger is one thing but to allude to lynching is another. He goes on to state his white supremacist stand when he state "That what happens when you interrupt the white man". Any apology he makes or made by him can be negated when he says ""It shocks you, it shocks you...what lies beneath."

With what he said and how he said it one would have to be a fool to guess what lies beneath Michael Richards.

One might try to wish this incident away with the comment that the late comic-great Lenny Bruce sometimes used the pejorative term in his own routines. The difference between Messrs. Bruce and Richards are too numerous to mention here. But let it be noted that when Lenny Bruce used the "N" word, it was often to expose the hypocrisy of white-think, or at the very least, to diffuse its inflammatory nature.

Mr. Richards' use of the word, on the other hand, was no more than the same racist tirade /all/ people have been subjected to since the days of European colonialism. It doesn't matter: Chinese, Filipino, Latino, African-American, etc. -- all have been subjected to the evils of racism. And to claim it's "alright" in our much more "enlightened" age to hurl such epithets, using the argument that "Black people call themselves ... " is just plain ignorance. It's really is /different/ when -- say -- a Latino uses the term "Gabacho" or "Guero" when they speak of white people, because they do not control the essential dialogue of commerce and political power. In other words, their use of the term will not have the same economic effect on the lives of large numbers of people such as when an Anglo calls a Latino a "Wetback" or "Mojado".

/That/ is why racial epithets hurt -- not just because they're vulgar, but because they have a hidden power to subject and dehumanise large numbers of people solely on account of their color or ethnic origin.

love n peaces,
Bobby

"The more things change, the more they remain the same".

As I black woman I'm not offended. however,In response to "joe's" comment above: I beg to differ the Hispanic race is provingly more rude & loud(& GETTING WORSE) by experience. & I think that remark above was more offensive than kramer's, So you just used this outlet to say it.anyway,I do believe there is a time & place for everything and kramer's temper sold him out!

My ethnicity being African American aside, I personally think Richards is at a great loss without Jerry Seinfeld or particularly writer Larry David telling him what to say and do. It's my knowledge that TRUE professional comedians (the previous 3 words there are the key) make a heckler's statement into a joke instead of attacking that person's ethnicity (save maybe Carlos Mencia). Richards is an ACTOR--NOT a comedian. He shouldn't have been on that club's stage in the first place--unless maybe Larry David had scripted his performance.
Richards' last failed attempt at a TV show proved that he's a washout anyway. I DO NOT condone in the least bit what he said but why make a big deal out of it? Richards' lack of dimension was exposed quite a while ago. There's much more important issues at hand in our cities, neighborhoods and particularly our WORLD to worry about than the rantings of an obviously salty one dimensional ACTOR.

Part of this is probably Michael Richards' inexperience as a stand-up comic, and part of it may be his true actual feelings. (Incidentally, 57 years old is not a great time to be launching a stand-up career). Do black comedians have a little more leeway on racial issues? Probably. But still, a skilled comedian can deftly make jokes about race and whether the comedian is black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc. the result is often hilariously funny. Sarcasm is best applied with a needle, not a sledgehammer. Bringing to mind images of lynchings- I have a hard time finding any humor there.

People should have been skeptical just by the title of Michael Richard's act: A Knight of Komedy by Kramer. Ron

Well, it's not surprising that this happened in Hollywood, where everything is fake, until he let himself go at the mouth. There are so many other cultures that are put down, like mine. Every St. Patrick's Day, the Irish are put into a light that we are all drunks, yet, all of the brewers in this country continue to use the Irish for sales of Booze.

For all the non-black respondents: As a black man, I do not allow another black person to refer to me as "nigger" or "nigga". I refuse to be degraded in this manner and it would serve you well to know that many black men share my opinion. It's unfortunate that men like me have to be cast in the same light as those who use the word nigger. I don't apologize for other black people calling each other nigga; that's their shortcoming. This is what Dr. King referred to when he said judge people by their character-more specifically their INDIVIDUAL character. Just because there are a lot of uninformed and uneducated blacks out there, doesn't give any one of you the right to paint us all with the same brush. And...so I don't forget, its too bad that Michael Richards feels that way about blacks. Mary Mitchell: Keep up the good work, I'm proud of your column!

As a black man in America (a place that, in spite of her attrocities towards my people, I still love as my home),I am not surprised at the comment. Racism, and racists are as American as apple pie;it is woven into the fabric of THIS society. Those who are not outwardly racist are probably,in some way, unwittingly racist. This will not change until dialouge, atonement, and REALIZATION occurs. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that this will happen; there are too many who benefit from the perpetuation of racism.Also,how can you identify it if you've never been victimized by it? Finally, there are many narrow minded people(see comment by Rey Flores)WHO ARE JUST PLAIN IGNORANT!

I have never used the N word as amusement, but the reference to lynching is what chills me. My grandfather has told me stories of how black men and women were burned, shot, beat just because they were black. Words do not affect me but to happily throw around the comment of lynching is frightening.

Blacks shouldn't call themselves niggers(niggas)for the same reasons we don't want whites calling us niggers.The history of violence that we have towards one anotherand not loving & supporting each other.we,ve been responsible for so much pain & death to our own people.We need to learn how to love & respect our selves.Dropping nigga from our vocabulary is a step in that direction.Malcom x once said we need to change the way we see ourselves in the world.

"As a hispanic male, i'm not offended. Blacks are an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude. A racist bunch themselves. Take what you dish out and move on."... Wow. As a black male, I'm not offended... Because that comment CAME from an hispanic.

"I seem to remember some statistics recently published in this newspaper by independent and government sources about test scores"

Social psychologist Claude Steele of Stanford found that when African Americans take the SAT WITHOUT having to identify their race, or when they take it believing it is just an exercise, there is NO difference in test scores between African Americans as a group and whites as a group. He coined the term "stereotype vulnerabily." The pressure of fallaciuos stereotypes presents independent obstacles and become self-fulfilling prophecy. (The same is true for women as well in math and science.) I don't think this information will matter to people who are looking for an excuse for their bigotry. But the rest of us might be interested in knowing how those newspaper statistics are far from the whole story.

We as black people need to get ourselves together, because we're the only group of people that doesn't get along. Every other race knows that. I don't agree with what Richard has said, but myself, have used the "n" word towards other African Americans myself. So, my fellow African Americans, can we at least try to get along?

I'm a white man (not white boy - don't even use that).I was bothered by Kramer's comments. But again many black people lump ALL whites into his category, and it's just not true. A jerk is a jerk, white or black.

This was a verbal fight between two men who grasped at what ever they could use as a defense. To bad it had to be racial slurs. I see both as being just as guilty as the other. Shake hands, say your sorry, and get on with the more important issue. Like it or not this is a free country where we have the freedom of speech. Let's keep it free and remember those who are fighting for those freedoms.

whatever...everybody is racist to some degree.....you're all a bunch of hypocrits....it is only " the right thing to say when you are infront of people...but as soon as we are with "our own people " we turn around and offend other races....EVERYBODY IS GUILTY OF THIS.....but Richards is an idiot for not biting his tongue....GAVACHO IDIOTA!!!!!

Wow. Just wow. It would seem that very, VERY few people here have their priorities worked out.

Some of you speak as though North America is STILL a place of apartheid, of racial hate.

People should not be held responsible for what their ANCESTORS did - that's like hating all Germans because of Hitler, or hating all Jews because they were partly responsible for Jesus' death.

It's absolutely ridiculous that anyone can say they're against racism, when really they're just against white people(or any other group which happens to have racist members).

I'm all for people being polite, but I think free speech should be allowed for anyone. If Richards wants to drop an n-bomb, by all means, let him. People shouldn'e be horrified by what they hear. I agree that it's terribly rude on his part, and rather bigoted to present such opinions of a race of people, but one must look at things rationally - if America is the "land of the free", why aren't we allowed to have our own opinions, whether shamefully ignorant or no?

Isn't political correctness just a means of watering down everyone's opinions?

Free speech should be about free speech, and presenting ideas in the open. It provokes critical thinking and free thought. If someone happens to have a less than polite opinion, so be it - it's no reflection on anyone but themselves.

People cite "morals" for why he shouldn't have said that, but that's just silly. Shouldn't they cite morals for why he shouldn't have BELIEVED it?

There is NOTHING wrong with stating your opinion. Some opinions are fraught with immorality and intolerance, whereas others are more open-minded and accepting - but they're all opinions. What is political correctness but they bullying of the majority against the minority? Isn't that the very thing that political correctness is *supposedly* against?

It's important to look at history, yes, but it's more important to look at the present and the future.

We are inexorably bound to the past, but the present and future are mutable - therefore, it is pointless to argue the past when it cannot be changed.

I think that the only people here who have truly open minds are the original poster and myself.

As for everyone else, I merely ask that you stop to think, and open your eyes.

-A

There is racism everywhere. I am a white male and I do not like any racism. I do not want to hear how one race is more racist than the other. That is just plain stupid. There is a greater history for black people to go back on and I can't understand because I'm not black, but I cannot help what people did to you 50-200 years ago. Do not hate me because I'm white. Make a difference by doing something good for your own life. THere is racism everywhere with every race. It unfortunately will probably always be that way.

To Rey Flores: "As a hispanic male, i'm not offended. Blacks are an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude. A racist bunch themselves. Take what you dish out and move on." I guess I could say the same about Hispanics, esp the women, they dress loud and their makeup is hideous, but I realize there are "ghetto" Hispanics and there are educated non-ghetto Hispanics, don't you agree? I know, because I worked with Hispanics who were very educated who looked down on the Latinos who couldn't speak English or spoke broken English, who were "ghetto". Don't classify all BLACKS as being loud and rude - I certainly am not.

I think that Mr. Richards showed very very poor judgment. But I also believe that he might have just "lost it" as he claims he did. This kind of incident is very very sad. But I still love his Seinfeld character, Kramer. Honestly I do.

I dont understand why black people use slavery as an excuse for all their current problems. You can't blame the present whites for what happened in the past, thats just ignorant. It is ridiculous to say that you are oppressed because of slavery. That was history, lets keep it there. It would be just as ludicrous to say that all Germans today are nazis.

Blacks using the word "nigger" and Michael Richards using the word
"nigger" are two separate issues, totally. Where do you think Richards learned that word, from rap songs and hanging out at barbershops in Bed-Stuy? Hell no. And look at the imagery he brought with it...talk of lynching, etc.

Kramer mentioned lynchings. Did he forget the ovens the jews faced?

Hey, Kramer's career was done for after Seinfeld ended.

So he might be toast, he's outa here, but that would only be redundant.

Maybe he could try crawling back on his hands and knees?

Mitchell again shows her lack of credibility by seeming to state that it's o.k. to use racial epithets against white people when you're a black comedian, but the reverse isn't o.k. She is a hypocrite.

I'm a black male who wasnt suprised by " Kramers " comments. He was just relaying his feelings about how he feels about black people. My problem is with all these black people acting like they are shocked about how white people view us. They show us everyday how much they hate us, from police brutality, to the Hurricane Katrina
situation, to how they refuse to hire us at their jobs. Black People need to stop trying to assimilate into a culture that since we first came in contact with them have hates us...and tried to destroy us.

Mary, I am a former Chicagoan who enjoys reading your column. We have made a lot of progress in race relations over the years but as you can see there is still a lot of work to do on both sides. What people forget is that we are all Americans and these are our fellow countrymen. Why is it so easy for us to see the ways we are different and so difficult to look at the ways we are all the same? We all need to put racism behind us and unite as one. There are a lot of people in the world who would like to see us all dead. Black and White.

MICHAEL RICHARDS CAN KEEP HIS APOLOGY.HE HAS NO IDEA,BUT A LOT OF AFRO AMERICANS WATCHED SINFIELD BECAUSE OF HIM. HE IS TOO A RACIST. HE SAID THAT STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART . I WAS BORN IN 1960,I HAVE FELT THE STING OF THE WORD NIGGER. I RESPECTFULY DISAGREE WITH YOU MARY MITCHELL.WHITE PEOPLE HEAR BLACKS CALL EACH OTHER NIGGA EVERY DAY. UP UNTIL TODAY, I ALSO THOUGHT OF THOSE TWO WORDS AS THE SAME. BUT UPON HEARING RICHARDS COMMENTS,I KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.YOU SEE I KIND OF FELT THAT STING!

You may blame it on rage if you like, but the fork does not lie.

There are so many things that can be factored into this equation. One is that WE allow ourselves to justify reasons for saying such derogatory staments toward one another yet we get offended when someone outside of our personal circles make inappropriate statements. Rapper Jay Z made millions by filling statiums with white folks singing "N** what, N** who, but that's O.K. because white folks bought those tickets--right? I've been present when we let our "white buddy" use "n** because "he's cool---right? And because our grammar is so broken that we attach an "a" to the end of the word as opposed to an "er" than it's o.k. for us to say it. This way the meaning changes and the hatred dissolves--right? No--wrong!
Second, why are we surprised that people like Kramer and the various idiots on this page are still in existence? Even here in the City of Chicago racism is in high gear. The stereotypes that are connected to a group of people because they are different from others. I personally am NEVER moved no matter whose mouth the words come from. I was once told by the GM of the Travelodge Hotel near downtown that he "hates to fill the hotel with blacks because they always want something for free." He finished the same way everyone else does, "...but I'm not racist."

I think that if you go to a comedy club to tape from a phone this is wrong!!! If that was a black comic the "n" word is okay ?

Michael Richards is an out right racist. He can kid no one. But let's be honest, African Americans call eachother the name all the time, even in comedy acts. Why is this acceptable? Even though Michael Richards is a wash up who's career is over, Tell the African Americans of this country to stop using this word in passing to eachother unless they want to be offended.

I just want to say this: African-Americans need to stop using the N-word. African-Americans need to resort to our ancestors and where we have been and where we still need to get to. And as for the Hispanic male that said that Blacks are loud and obnoxious, he needs to be around African-Americans, like myself who were taught with manners and who are not loud and obnoxious. You sound like Michael "I'm not a racist, but has proven otherwise "Richards. And to think I watched him on Seinfeld and he was one of my favorite characters. It will take God to deal with him.

Racism will always be an issue in america, but when we have mentors,super stars,and heros making comments as such it brings us down as a whole. To be African American is an issue all on its own and to be reminded of such cruelty by people of such magnitude is ignorant. But Richard's says he is not racist.... to me if you say you are not that then why make those comments,why protray yourself as one, why put yourself in that perdicument, yes true we say things in anger but 9 times out of 10 we mean most of the things we say, Richards not only humilated himself, but show his true side to the public as well,apology not accepted....... There will always be a difference between "NIGGA" and a Black Man!

I know why this makes front page news, my question is why don't racial slurs against jews and others make front page news? Every other month you hear about swastikas and racial verbage graffited onto synagogues and churches and yelled over, that news is over is less than 12 hours. Surely it's not on the front page.

To get respect, you have to give it,You all don,t want to be called niggers, then shuold,nt you stop calling white people crackers? We need to stop the name calling by all races,or the hate will never stop.

It is unfortunate that in society certain words can only be said by certain people. Black people can freely use the word nigger/nigga and no one cares. When a white person says, they are racist. When in a hate group such as the KKK the word is racist and should be never used but, for everyday people if one group can say nigger why can't the other? It's people like me who are stuck in between. Being multiracial (black/white) I could use nigger around certain people and be shunned, others wouldn't care, some would say i can't say it cause i'm not pure black, etc., etc., but it is times like these when Americans can see for themselves how much we have progressed an how much we haven't.

P.S. I forgive Mr. Richards. How many of us have never been in a cussing tirade we regret.

a white man reveals his racist beliefs...and people are shocked? get real, people. white people INVENTED racism. get over it.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Old school I guess.

Maybe if we could let go of our desire to be controlled by the word, the word would soon find itself disappearing in its usage.

The best message that was sent was by the people leaving. One does not need to allow him or herself to be angered by what another says. Better to simply leave - it speaks volumes and is much more forceful.

We will remain victims so long as we desire to be victims.

Is another form of slavery being witnessed? A slave to the past? A slave to not moving forward? A slave to our need for others validation of us. A slave to being angered by others choice of words?

While it would be great if everyone loved us, chances are it is not the case. While it would be great if all people were of sound judgment, it would be great. But the world is filled with people still needing to grow and learn.

The choice is ours to make. How do we respond to another's rudeness.

Is the price of freedom, namely letting go of the past, to high a price to pay?

Wow! Wow! Wow! Now this isn't about Richard's comments because if it talks like a racist and acts like a racist its a racist. This is concerning first the other racists condoning and defending his actions as if he shouldn't be held accountable for what he said. This is also for the persons who try and blame black folk for using a word that originated from white peoples ignorance, in an attempt to take away some of-not all, never all- but some of the sting. If you don't think so watch the clip again and count how many black people ran on the stage. Not one not a single one. Now the origination of the word came from whites mis- pronounciation of the word Niger- which is in Africa for those unaware- and it wasn't until after the slave days did the derogatory meaning take effect. Now we have another generation which is trying to change the meaning of the word again and that is why we use it amongst ourselves and it isn't the word its the way he used it. If he was to use it without the hatred it would've been less problems, problems but less. And please please please O.J. don't have nothing to do with this. Now just cause one black man got away with killing two white people doesn't make it alright or justify the MILLIONS of murders that STILL occur because of the color of peoples skin. He killed two persons, race wasn't involved until the police got there. And it was their inability to look PAST race to get a proper conviction, because if O.J. was white we wouldn't even be discussing it.

Why is it OK for a black person to call another black person a nigger and not OK for a white person to say the same thing. That's B.S. If so many blacks are offended by it why do they say the "N" word all the time.

To use the N word in a public setting, in an angry tirade, because you have no way of stopping your act from bombing is pathetic. What Richards did was project his anger on to his hecklers because he had no other way of saving his act. He use the word out of complete hatred and malice towards another person in order to degrade that person and make them feel horrible, just as he felt as he was being heckled. There is absolutely, positively, no excuse for his tirade and I think he is an idiot. If you are a comedian, and you want to get back at the heckler, you either ignore him, or make a joke about him that is acceptable (sans race, sexual orientation etc.) there are some ignorant people out there, and richards is one of them

It's funny the different responses you have received from this story and how people still don't look as the "n" word as a big deal because black people use it. I hate to tell you that word is a word of hate and racism and whoever uses it is full of hate and racism. Micahel Richards at that moment was full of hate and racism!! I don't know the man personally but I feel that if he can say that word in front of a room full of people he would say that or think that of blacks to himself!!

I wasn't shocked by Michael Richard's use of the N word. Hearing it a million times, I have become desensitized to its true meaning. I was very shocked by his reference to the past and lynching. That was vicious. He could have just responded to the guy with ignorant stereotypes.

How can blacks still be affected by slavery? If black America were a seperate country, it would be the fifth richest, which is better than France. I don't know why blacks still cry racism, because immigrants from other countries say that they don't feel the racism that blacks say they feel.

BOOK CRITICAL OF AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO USE THE N-WORD


Los Angeles, CA., Author H. Lewis Smith has written a thought provoking, culturally divided book that will not only spark heated conversation, but can also bring about real change. The N-word is often used in the African American community amongst each other and is generally not a problem when spoken by another African American. However, once the word is used by a Caucasian person, it brings on other effects. The question is "who can use the word and why?" Smith believes it is a word that should be BURIED!!!!


The book is written in a manner that all can understand. The points are
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H. Lewis Smith has studied the idioms, meanings and the psychological impact of words, its energy and vibratory effects on the human mind for more than two decades. He has been a guest on several talk shows, The Power, The Exchange, Andrea Williams’ Jamin 98.3 and many more. To learn more about Bury that Sucka, please visit http://www.burythatsucka.com

Racism in any form is a sign of an uneducated society and is unacceptable in any culture: black, white, hispanic, etc. Read 'Race' by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Studs Terkel and you will know that it is, and always will be, at the forefront of the American Dream.

As a white person raised on the south side of Chicago in the 60's, I can assure everyone that there is enough racist hatred to go around on all sides...it is useless to point out that slavery existed in Africa (blacks to blacks) and that the Civil War was fought by whites against whites (to end slavery)...Just remember: we all bleed red & organ donation knows no skin color. The saying that there is no atheist in a foxhole, might be paraphrased to say: there is no racist in an emergency room...Come on people, there is enough guilt on all sides, let's move on already!! And if we don't, well, in a few generations, there will be no black or white question, as our teen's hormones will put an end to that...more 'bi-racial' babies being born means a homogeneous society. For once we may all be Americans, with no hyphen.

Firstly, Michael Richards should apologize for his use of the word only if his apology is authentic and genuine. Honestly, I think his only regret is that he spoke his true feelings while being taped. Now the entire world caught a small glimpse of how he truly feels. The sad but true fact is that he really feels this way wheather anyone likes it or not. I'm quite sure that this is not the first time this word has come out of his mouth...and probably not the last. What Black people need to realize is that trying to force an apology from someone who is not sorry is a waste of time and effort. Realization that this is truly the way many people feel about Blacks but just don't have the gaul to say it,is the key. As much as we hate to think this way, not everybody loves all races. I am not condoning what Mr. Richards said, I just think that he meant everyword of it and not he is sorry that he got caught.Period. Now to say that blacks can't take what they dish out is erroneous. WE have taken what was dished out to us for many, many years. Now that we as a people have decided to take the "n" word and own it for ourselves, some cannot deal with it. Yes, we sometimes...okay maybe all the time...use the word in our own friendly conversations, songs, raps and comedy routines. But don't you think we have the right to use it? Don't you think we have the right to own this word and use it for our own positive purpose instead of letting others use it to display hatred and discontent towards us? Who other than Blacks would use the word in a friendly manner? Who other than Blacks could take the most hateful and venemous things and turn them into a song, rap or laugh at the very utterance of the word in a comedy routine? We have more then earned the right to use it. We have suffered and died for the right to use it. For those of US who choose not to use the word, that is also fine. Just don't get mad when we turn it around and use that same word against others (Meaning Mr. Richards, whose career is probably over)as they have used it so well against us. See how we can turn things around?

Those two colored guys in the audience should not have heckled the comedian. That was rude of them.

i have been to a few comics shows and let me tell you the there are a lot of black entertainers that make quite a few rude remarks about white people and nothing happens to them. why does everything have to turn into a black and white issue.

I think naming people as a racist is very uninteresting in itself. Everyone has racist notions and sometimes they come out in times of distress and excitement. The medias sensationalism of Mr. Richards actions will be an unfortunate waste of space if it doesn't point to the fact that ordinary people can spout bigotry in extreme situations : (and) what are the reasons behind this phenomenon? I'll pass on the witch hunt. BTW, as distasteful as his comments were, I thought it was a good performance and he was pretty funny. People should keep in mind he was on stage, and in character.

whoooaaa... people. everyone just relax. Take a deep breath before you post. We got to remeember every word counts, so don't throw stuff out there without thinking.

We're going to see lots of types of people come out of the wood work, trust me. Just relax. We all need to show more tolerance of our differences.

What M.Richards did was WRONG. PERIOD.

He came out and made a public apology (not very effectively, but he did it). He was quite visibly shaken. Which I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as sincerity.

What he did, there is no excuse for. It has nothing to do with white people, jews, black history or whatever.

IT WAS A VERY BAD RACIAL ATTACK directed at a black man. It's not about the 'N' word used by some blacks on blacks. It's not about 'cracker' used by some black comedians. It's not about the KKK. It's not about equal opportunity. It's not about ANY of that.

Let's focus on positive things everyone. Please post something good, not bad. It's what our world needs more of. Not greater hate.

Real strength comes in our ability to forgive or brothers.

Peace.

Michael Richards doesn't seem funny to me anymore. He shouldn't have called those hecklers niggers. He should have called them what they really are - stupid morons.

Rey,Your comments disgust me. I do think you contradicted yourself. I just clicked on your name and it took me to your personal website. This is what YOU posted:

{After what Richards said, it’s not surprising that such insults were hurled at him, but again, it does not justify people stooping to his level either.}

So my question to you is why did you make the remarks of blacks being "rude", "obnoxious" and "inappropriate? It sounds to me that you have stooped just as low as he did. I cant believe you did social work in the past, give me a break. With you beliefs, you should'nt be helping anyone. Did you discriminate against the blacks? By the way are you legal in this country???

Mr.Flores, What does your opinoin of blacks being obnoxious have to do with the fact that he attacked a group of people with hateful and vindictive rants? He lost it and the public was able to see him publicly refer to a race in a demeaning manner. To group any race in one category is ignorant. You should no better. Please do not confuse education and leadership abilites as being obnoxious. Everyone does not live in the land of the ever so compliant reborn Uncle Tom (Hispanic land). See?

Richards' comments were reprehensible. He single handedly tarnished his reputation, and has given new meaning to the "Seinfeld Curse." He obviously had no quick retort for his hecklers, and resorted to racial slurs to retaliate. How pathetic.

i'm not suprised nor am i suprised by the comments on this page when we glorify the word in rap music and pay rappers millions and allow our kids to listen and glorify the word why not expect the other race's to use the n word the chickens have come home to rest this is from a proud black who is married to a white woman and have bi racial grand children it's not acceptable in my home and never will be

As a male Hispanic, I feel disgusted by Richard's comments.Minorities are constantly belittled by the white majority (I am not speaking of all whites). The fact that racial slurs have an inherent purpose to degrade makes Richard's words unacceptable. He was not stoned or drunk, he is simply a racist. I can sympathize with African- Americans on this topic.

Joe, I'm obviously living in a year when a famous comedian feels comfortable threatening Blacks with lynchings, remembering the good ole times when that was permissable, and calling us "niggers" in public forums. That's what year I'm living in. 2006. YOU take a good look at what year you're living it.

Ms. Mitchell, again, I never condoned or defended the use of the word amongst African-Americans, period. But words carry different connotations based on who is saying them. For instance, if my mother calls me "baby girl," and I don't like it, I grin and bear it. But if a male boss called me "baby girl," that would be bordering on sexual harrassment. I realize my example doesn't even approach the severity of the word "nigger," but the same principle applies.

My two cents for what it's worth. Comedians, and well, let's be honest, famous people in general of ethnicities other than "Caucation" use whites as the butts of jokes frequently. As offensive as n*gger is, the connotation of the word "cracker" harkens back to the same era, effectively portraying whites as the whip wielding slave owners. How many whites today can say they ever owned a slave? How many "African Americans" can say they ever were a slave?

Mr. Richards comments about the hecklers being "n*ggers" should be no more offensive than the many comments that black comics will make regarding the stereotypes of the black theater patron who rather than quietly enjoy a performance or film, will should out at the screen, and be generally disruptive. I recall an entire scene dedicated to this in the film Scary Movie, not to mention various stand up acts and improvs, and the general impression, if not the outright statement is that there's blacks, and then there's n*ggers.

It should also be noted that accounts have the hecklers using racial slurs against whites prior to Mr. Richards' outburst.

Does any of this excuse the behavior? Perhaps, perhaps not. The fact of the matter is, there is double standard in comedy, and it's unavoidable.

But what is of note was Mr. Richards' exclaimations of "It shocks you!" over and over after each outburst. He openly acknowledged his intent with every utterance. As a performance, he was pushing buttons, buttons that are not often pushed in this setting, but are perhaps not far off from those of a Sacha Baron Cohen, or an Andy Kaufman- blurring the lines and pushing those buttons to make people take notice of the act.

No one but Mr. Richards knows his intent when he went on his diatribe, but perhaps rather than just immediately call outrage, we should look at the whole thing for what it is.

Another occation of race being a target in comedy, only this time, the white man made the joke, and the butt of the joke didn't laugh awkwardly and accept their role as fodder, all the while feeling deep down, a little offended, not so much that the joke took place, but that they could never retaliate in kind due to the double standard. Because lets face it, had the roles been reversed, had a white man heckled a black comedian, and the comedian had started popping off negative racial slurs towards the heckler, this conversation would never be taking place.
In fact, the comedian would likely be lauded as hip and edgy, and probably be given a show on comedy central after reruns of Chappelle's Show and Mind of Mencia.

Just my oppinion. I could be wrong.

Hello Jerry...Please explain the OJ Simpson reference? Mr. Richard's comments were laced with hatred. Okay...he said the n-word but he amplified the tirade to level 10 by making a reference to black people being lynched. This type of 'comedy' is not even close to a black comic stating the differences between 'Black' & 'White' people in jest. (I have never heard a black comic say 'Cracker' without a disclaimer and the only one that I have heard use that term (and often) is Dave Chappelle who is loved & adored by young 'White' males.) Your comments and reference to OJ lead me to believe that you (and other white males like you) continue to view 'Black' men as a threat to your manhood. Prejudice has always served as a defense mechanism for those that feel inferior.

Put it this way. Had dude not used "Nigger" and said you Black piece of s***or Black m********* or any other inappropriate comment it still would have been racist. The second you bring race into the equation you're marked as a racist and you should be!!! What did those dudes being Black have to do with anything. He is a weak stand-up comedian who could not come up with a clever come back so he spit racist rhetoric. He's a racist and for anyone to act like he is not is hard for me to grasp. When black comedians talk about white folks they are not sitting there going of on this white m******, honky, cracker BS. They simply mock their manerisms, the way they act, etc. There is a major difference. Some folks just do not understand and they clearly never will. I am a Blck man and yes, I will admit that when things like this occur it makes me wonder what white folks talk about behind closed doors. You can steal our style and our music, but nope won't let us in your lilly white clubs. It's crazy to me. But whatever, this just shows that racism may be masked but please believe it's still alive and well!

The use of the n-word isn't what was so offensive, if not dangerous about this. It IS just a word. Context is more important then ANY word. I can't believe you turned this around and used it to club 'us' over the head Mary, again :_( anyway His statement that 50 yrs ago "we" as in a angry white mob maybe? would do XYZ and his suggestion that "that's what you get for interrupting a white man" is what I found most disturbing. It Makes you want to know more about Mr Richards 'circle'. These sentiments didn't arise in a vacuum.

Dear Ms. Mitchell, I don't always agree with your opinions, but you are most often compelling and insightful. What you've written seems to me to be on point. No one can excuse Mr. Richard's behavior - not even Mr. Richards, who rightfully called his comments "crap" and characterized the incident as "freaking out." I grew up in the white suburbs when using the word was a matter of course. It took me some years to understand that it's derogatory conotation. Having been ignorant at one time doesn't allow me the right to continue to be. While the word certainly provides an vivid description of one who is treated with a lack of regard or civility (such as in the way your co-worker used it), it carries far too much ugliness and the residue of hatred. I wish EVERYBODY would stop using it. And, while we're on the subject, I recently worked as supervisor of people of all ethnic backgrounds. I had a young black man who constantly called me "Boss," pronouncing it "Bahoss." To me, it sounded like the way Steppin Fetchit pronounced it. He was too young to remember the 60's, but I'm not, and his choice always made me uncomfortable. Not all white people want to be "massahs." Some look for reasons to perpetuate prejudice and stereotypes; it doesn't help when comics or co-workers put on the "Amos and Andy" attitude or call each other vile names. Sometimes, it seemed that I respected those workers far more than they respected themselves. As for Mr. Richards, forgiveness is in order, but so it a great deal of therapy.

It's always interesting to see how many racist people come out to applaud other racists, adding their voice to create a hateful chorus.

People like Jerry and Joe are proud of their racism. It's a defining part of their character. They come to Ms. Mitchell's blog and pump their chests while proudly exclaiming racism.

In real life, in the mall, at the office, in restaurants, or at their kids' sports games, do they scream out the n-word to get show of their superiority.

Joe you're a Hispanic. What does that mean really? Does that mean you are white, mestizo, Native American, black, or mulatto? Hispanic is a cultural designation. What makes you superior to African-Americans? Why do you need to be superior? What's missing within you that requires another human being to be under your feet to make you a bigger man?

Michael Richards revealed his inner self. Anger is simply an excuse to open an door and let one's real person escape. Comics get heckled all the time. It's part of their job. Most react with humor and not vicious racial epithets.

Mary, I am a white woman, and I hope the fact that one of your former white co-workers used the "n" word does not affect your perception of all white people. I admit I still struggle at times to overcome the racist opinions I heard while growing up. I believe that all racism stems from fear, including fear of change and fear of acceptance. I, too, have been on the receiving end of racist remarks.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

No, I'm quite clear that whites are individuals.

As a white man, I agree with Syrita Thomas, it IS getting old. Picking on African-Americans is a way too convenient way of overlooking the work we have to do in overcoming our ignorance. Are blacks, as the Hispanic man asserts "loud, inappropriate, and rude?" Some are. But, I have Hispanic neighbors who are constantly disturbing me by playing music too loud, despite my requests to hold it down. And I can point out any number of young white kids - and adults - who are as rude and inappropriate. Let's face it, regarding ANY group as a monolith is the epitome of ignorance. Let's each resolve to work on self-perfection in 2007. When we achieve it, we can start working on everyone else.

I'm not at all offended by this idiots comments because i don't consider myself a nigger. We as a people need to ignore the word no matter how harsh and offensive it was to our ancestors. Let's turn the other cheek and hopefully the bigots would do the same.

If white audience members had heckled a black comedian who responded by calling them "f..... white crackers" and the audience members in turn called the comdian the "n" word, what do you think everyone's reaction would be?

It figures that some jerk commenting on another jerk's tirade would bring in the possibility that Richards is Jewish. It is evident that Richards was never a school teacher attempting to present some information while in front of the class!

Because of this country's unique racial struggles, Michael Richards is foolish as a Caucasian man in this day and age trying to get a laugh for what he said. Even entertainment business freshmen know better.

But on the other hand why are comedians of color given a pass for trying to get a laugh by using race, too? It's not fair. Is it ok for Dave Chappelle to use the N word? No. Use of that word is NEVER ok, even if you are Black.

And for the record I'm African/Native American, though that shouldn't matter.

No one should be using hateful language, regardless. Why is the U.S. stuck in primitive hatred? It's the same old skin color mental illness from hundreds of years ago when other places around the world have graduated to cultural hatred. I mean come on, raise the bar if you're resigned to being a fool!

Black people are stupid for trying to sugar coat the use of the N word. It's ridiculous.

And in general, Black people need to realize that they do not get a free pass to be bigots either. You can't say hurtful things about others but cry foul when it comes back to you.

This kind of criticism could go on and on about each race because none of us are perfect and we do have some form of hatred inside of us. We make it worse through assinine denial statements like "but I'm not a racist!". Please. Wake up.

But while most of you are stuck in the past debating dusty topics like this, how often do you consider that just about people of every color seem to think it's ok to make fun of obese people.

Another one bites the dust... ..the folks in the audience who were heckling him pulled his trump card - at his own show. Now THAT's funny!

Like I said one before in one of the other blogs: Richard Pryor summed it up best in one of his comedy routines, "Racism? That's bad news jack, and I hope one day America gives that *ish* up." Sure doesn't sound like that's going to happen in my lifetime.

And to the Hispanic male (Joe) who said that blacks are a rude, loud, obnoxious, and an inappropiate race - take a look in the mirror, then look at your children, if you have them. I can only hope they don't grow up to be like you or anyone like you. Helluva legacy you're leaving for them, don't you agree? You should be offended - but there is no law against being ignorant, but there are consequences. As this Hispanic male has just eloquently proven, there are ignorant people in ALL races. Now, I'm the one dishing it out for you and those who think like you to take it...and now you can move on, foolish mortal. My nature of being has always been to defend and deter, but I can conquer and neutralize when I need to. Consider yourself neutralized.

Someone tell me - what makes one race better than any other? Who decided that this was an acceptable medium in society? Folks who are on that garbage need to check themselves...they just don't get it. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

What Mr. Richards said was wrong. Does that make him a racist? I don't know, I don't know him so I couldn't say. But I doubt there's a person alive who hasn't said something regrettable at least once in their life. I wouldn't want to be defined by one comment made in anger. People say things when they're angry that they don't necessarily mean.

If white folks wanted to make a federal case of every black comics´ routine that might offend them,there wouldnt be too many black comics working.Whether Kramer was going for shock value or he was just plain KKK-ing it,we will never know.For the record if I was him,I woulnt have gone down that road if I was him.Regardless of my stand on race relations.

I'm whiter than a mayonaisse sandwich on Wonder bread and I'm called the N word from time to time. I think that word has lost some of its historic meaning. I now expect it out of Richards mouth every time he enters Jerry's apartment on Sienfeld.

According to Joe, African Americans are a loud obnoxious Race, loud inappopiate and rude. Does this mean that all Hispanics are Taco eating bean munching fence jumpers? Does it mean that they drive loud cars and live 10 families to a house. How about it joe?Racism sucks especially when viewed from an ignoramous.

Black people are more racist then any other group in the united states... they are racist against whites hispanics and other blacks... listen to chris rock he likes black people but he hates N****s... African Americans always think they are getting the short end of the stick and that they are being kept down... yes there was slavery however thats over and the united states has compensated them for what has happened, and im not saying that just becasue there was compensation payed out that everything is alright... but get over it if you are offended by the "N" word then you have something wrong with you... it means nothing it is a word... nobody alive today was around back when that word should have been considered offensive...

We have got to put a stop to unacceptable behavior. Pro athletes, rock & rap stars and TV/film actors make daily headlines for immoral and illegal activity. We pay to be informed of their dastardly deeds. Unfortunately, they influence the public. We often see adults express their rage in stores,restaurants & behind the wheel of a vehicle.
We all should back to our upbringing and mind our manners.

Siobhan, before you try to attack me you need to be smart enough to know who you are attacking. I didn't mention anything about test scores, or incarcerated men or fatherless households. You got me mixed up with someone else, but I guess all us "whiteboys" look the same to you. Although I do think you blaming slavery on all of the black man's shortcomings today is pathetic and portrays black men as extremely mentally weak. But getting back to Richards'. What he said, while offensive, were just words. Richards' didn't get together with two of his white friends and jump a 14 year old black kid in a park and slam his head on the cement and try to kill him. Richards' didn't take a bipolar, 18 year old black woman up to the 6th floor of the Robert Taylor Homes and rape her and toss her out of the window. Richards' didn't break into a 64 year old black doctor's office and stab him to death. Richards' didn't cruise the red and blue lines and rape two black women in Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville. That's why black people's outrage over this will fall on deaf ears with most white people. Because the racism that blacks have to deal with TODAY from whites is what Richards' said, only words. But the racism that whites have to deal with TODAY from blacks are the aforementioned violent crimes. Now tell me, which is worse? Being called a nigger, or being raped and tossed out of a 6th floor window? Most clear thinking people will say the latter is worse.

Richards was disgusting. No excuses. However, sometimes listen to that Chris Rock so-called comic dialogue about 'white people, crackers, what have you'. Also disgusting. Yet, again the DOUBLE STANDARD comes into play.

I was more concerned as I heard from people who lived through the times that Richard's talked about hangings etc.

And I am concerned about how Blacks silence other Blacks during this period. We still have no solidarity of support for each other, even through times of crisis.

White people attacked us like this long before we called each other nigger, so thats no excuse of us not to have a united front if just to show that no one else can attack us. But we are leaving ourselves open for attack, cause if we cannot unite on this, how do we unite on other issues when you may think we should.

I agree that's nothing is more irritating and embarrassing than to hear Black people call each other 'nigga', especially in the presence of non-Blacks.

Obviously the use of the N-word was wrong. However, as somebody said on another post, blacks are an obnoxious race. Blacks don't want to be sterotyped, but whenever I'm at the movies, the mall, a restaurant, or wherever, the only one's I ever see acting disorderly, rude, loud, or violent are blacks. Blacks don't want to be sterotyped, but they continue to act inappropriate in public. This is why a lot of white and hispanic people just try to avoid blacks.

I hate the "n" word - if one of my children were to use it they would get their mouth washed out and I would be sure to find the source from whom they heard it.

But that is not to say that I believe saying the "n" word makes the person who said it a racist. I am almost sad for Michael Richard's in that he totally screwed up, and is now abandoned and labeled.
"Political Correctness" has made this society so paranoid that other celebs are afraid to be associated with him and that is sad.

If a man calls a woman a "c" word (another word I hate) it doesn't make him a misogynist right?

I just don't think you can truly know what is in a persons heart by the things that they say. Especially when that comment is made at a time of anger and frustration. Also there are people so full of hatred in this world, but because the the things they say "out loud" fall within "politically correct" boudaries they are seen as "great people". In fact I would bet some of the biggest racists in the word are publically condemning Mr Richards just to make themselves look good.

Anyway thanks for the forum to express my thoughts. I also want to say to you Ms Mitchel I read your column all the time. I sometimes agree sometimes disagree but it always makes me think. Have a lovely Thanksgiving and joyous holiday season.

As a public figure he has to be held responsible for his language, as does ANYONE who uses such language. I don't defend the word nigger, but I do understand that context is important. There IS a difference between someone in a rap video saying nigger( however despicable, and it is) and someone saying ESPECIALLY a white person saying "you're a nigger (angrily and repeatedly) [and that] 50 years ago we would've had you hanging upside down with a fork up your a#*."
And Joe you have the gall to call Blacks as a race "obnoxious?" It's almost laughable...are you trying to curry favor with white people? I can guarantee that there are people all over America saying the same thing about Hispanics. I don't agree or condone, but I have friends who live in Pilsen next door to some loud Hispanics, except I'm not stupid enough to judge all Hispanics by these obnoxious, loud, rude people....but I do understand that this site is more about small individuals blowing off steam and dumping their ignorance and racial antipathy anonymously. Feel better now?

My husband heard a black man call in who was at the club at the time of the incident and the hecklers had been using racial slurs "cracker" and other similar slurs toward Richards during his act. If this is true, then Richards could have been above that but then they should also be slammed for being racists.

Chris Rock and other famous black comedians are famous for ripping on whitey. Why is this ok?

And white people do not use the N word behind blacks' back. You should be ashamed to think that. i HATE that word.. ALWAYS have.

Everyone is not against you and white people, like black people, are PEOPLE. We're not crackers and we deserve individual consideration as does every race. There are good and bad of every race.

I know more black racists than white ones. I find that unfortunate.

I think people need to wake up to racism in general, not blacks vs. white etc.

How about ignoring the Democrats rally cry for us to rise up against eachother and realize it is the HAVES vs. the HAVE NOTS..the political parties turn us against eachother so they benefit from our fear and hatred.

How about us getting rid of THEM (all the politicians)? It is the HAVES vs. the HAVE NOTS and don't play their game anymore. We have to love eachother so we can vote for a different, more fair, form of government and no more politicians making any more money than the AVERAGE American. Period.

I still can't fathom how some white people still can't understand why they can't say the N-word (actually the lynching reference he made was worse if you ask me). Here's the difference between a white person saying it and a black person...historically that word coming from a white person was also followed by unimaginable violence. Blacks have been murdered, raped, burned, tar & feathered, hosed down like dogs, attacked by dogs, etc....we didn't even have civil rights until '64. And this was just 40 years ago, not "200 years ago, so get over it" like white people try to say. So that means that a person like myself who is in their 30's has parents that grew up being called the N-word and being denied civil rights. We try to act like it was so long ago but it wasn't. A fact blacks are still keenly aware of, that's why we can't let anyone get away with making racist comments.

Reading through the various comments there are a lot of statements that I agree with especially that of Jerry Anderson. However what is bothering me is the comparison of blacks and whites and the word nigger. I am a young black female, and as often as i overhear the conversation of my black peers, I have never heard any of us call another one of us a Nigger (hence the -ER)....Nigga is what is often used and it holds a different conotation. Anyone who refers to a black individual as a nigger i believe is using it as a racial slur...simple as that

Wow! That was some ugly stuff on video. I would have to say that word "cracker" doesn't mean much for middle class people living in Chicago, but it has a different gravity certain other places. Mary, if you used the c word in certain parts of Kentucky or West Virginia, you might end up blogging in a full body cast.

R. Flores, who cares what you think? You sound like some brainwashed, jealous idiot. Black people are rightfully proud people and just because you are probably jealous of their successes and accomplishments, despite horrible obstacles, you have the gall to classify black people as obnoxious, rude and inappropriate. The last time I checked, black people were still fighting for rights that you benefit from to this day. If you have such a distaste for black people, give up jazz, blues, rock& roll, etc., i.e. all those things you listed as your faves in your profile. You are absolutely disgusting and the very reason black people should not be aiding in immigration reform. Have you ever heard of 'divide & conquer', you idiot. As for Michael Richards, I was not stunned or upset... I think black people should stop expecting anything from these people and live their lives... I don't need an apology from this individual and I wish so-called black leaders would stop asking for one. Michael Richards does not validate black people. He is pretty typical and just showed his true self. I expect nothing less and nothing more from most people like Richards. Richards needs to seek forgiveness from someone higher than himself or black people.

Ms. Mitchell, I find it very interesting that so many people have taken the time to condone and even promote the spewage of pure, latent, hatred it takes to publicly expose your innermost, subliminal demons as Michael Richards did. I am a 54 year old Black man who grew up in the era when rampant racism was an everyday occurance. I never have, and never will, condone the use of the n-word in public or otherwise. We all know exactly what we're doing when we vocalize this; we/he know the right and wrong of this, it's no accident, there is no excuse. From the comments of some of the non African American males, they make the point that because misguided young Black men use the word so liberally in their music and conversation, it justifies their use of it. Unfortunately, we all use epithets in private that we would never utter around others.
Case in point: how many of you guys, in a moment of anger or outrage, have referred to your wives, mothers, or sisters as bitches? Do they forget and forgive? You don't give it a second thought when you do it; once you've put it out there, you can't really take it back. But what's your attitude when some other man, regardless of his ethnicity, utters that same insult at them? I seriously doubt that you would turn the other cheek and laugh it off as an acceptable response, would you?
Take a look at yourself in the mirror, and try to convince yourself that your manhood at that point would not be challenged, that you would take no offense. I'll bet your female's opinion of you would be. That is how it feels for someone to freely disrespect you directly and openly to your face.
I apologize for the length of this posting.

I agree. It's a shame that they call themselves niggers. It may be 'freindly' but it's just a shame for them to identify themselves with the negative names that has been pinned onto them.

To Jerry Anderson:
Obvious racism may no longer seem to be apparent. But subtle racism exists. And it hurts just as bad.

Thank you Siobhan for putting those posters Jerry and Joe in their place. I can't believe everyone else is letting that crap slide! You all may think we're living in a different age altogether, but the kind of rhetoric that makes racism out to be black people's problem has been a tactic of white supremacists all along.

I think we (all human beings) need to put together a list of words and names that if used by anyone other than someone who is of the same sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation,creed, etc., etc. would be considered offensive.Heck, that's just about everything. So how about if we STOP referring to people by category. We live in such a double standard society. It's not okay to do what I say or do........even though it's okay for me to say and do it. I just watched a movie (Boomerang) with Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens and Halle Barry. There was a line in there that Murphy said....that the role that William Shatner played in Star Trek..that he was the coolest white guy he knows. Now....that's not racist? But..if I said Boomerang was a pretty good movie for a bunch of black actors...whoa the crap would hit the fan! It's time everyone stop categorizing......if Shatner was cool...then he was cool. If Murphy's a good actor, then he's a good actor. Get the point? What's good for one should be good for all. So, either we stop using the references or we all just get over it when they're used.

Fist of all to the writer who says "Puhlease! I didn't see all these white folks so worried about racism and hypocrisy when Black folks were getting hoses and dogs turned on them in the streets."
Read a book. The civil rights movement was multicultural in its representation and if a majority of people in power ( white people) did not fight for it civil rights would not have come about.

That said I as a white person find it funny how one rant from a white jewish person of little consequence lets blacks put his stupidity and racism to bare on the backs of all white people and a day of atonement needs to be set aside yet national african american leaders like Farrahkan and Jesse Jackson say anti semitic remarks or blatant race bating remarks and hardly a peep of criticism.

To Jerry and Joe M, in particular:
You both sound very ignorant. How, in God's name, are the slurs "nigger" and "cracker" equal?!? YOUR race kidnapped, enslaved, and slaughtered another race of people, stripped them of their heritage and history, stunted their mental and spiritual growth for centuries (this is all DOCUMENTED fact) and after they were done, tagged them all "ignorant people" (the definition of "nigger") and shipped them off into the worst parts of AmeriKKKa, the ghetto. Does it occur to you two that the racial slur "cracker" was in response to the slur "nigger"? People on this forum want to bring up crime or the rate of broken, single-parent homes in the black community. Well, I've never seen the government shipping guns and drugs (again, DOCUMENTED fact) into the suburban (i.e., white) communities. Matter of fact, let me stop at that point right there. Joe M, Jerry; since you guys are so well-versed on why black people are in the condition that they are in, (socially, economically, politically, etc.) why don't you two explain this to me and the entire forum: WHY DOES the government choose to ship guns and drugs into the urban community? It's not as if a contingent of black folk marched to D.C. and demanded that the gov't start shipping crack, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin into their communities. Oh, and a side of guns to go with that order. Explain that, fellas. Everybody's listening...

Wow, how stupid is that "Jerry" up there? You don't represent the majority of the white race. Seldom do you hear that "N" word. I agree, there is no defense to anyone, even African American (say, comedians) using it. Nor am I not fed up with this "slavery" stuff being brought up from generations ago.

Seems like everytime those slave days are brought up and the lynching, they forget our national hero was Dr. Luther King for all our society, that changed the way our society is today. He's just not a hero...he represents everything that is for our society as a whole to get along together; enjoy the rights as a whole.

He represents this great opportunity for all of us to forgive, come together, and move forward.

It's not alright for blacks or whites to use degrading labels. I don't care who uses it publicity, they should apologize. Cracker, "N," whatever, bury it.

Let's all work together... we bleed the same color blood...we all have our cultures...no one of us is any higher up or lower than the other.

Forget about what the former Kramer said...comedians and actors are usually labled insecure, etc. Don't give it any attention...and it will die out.

Let's become a nation under one....think of worse things...like our Katrina victims, the war...does color matter there?

Get over the racists stuff...bury the past. And quit using derogatory name-calling. Who are you as anyone to call anyone a name? He apologized, get over it and put a lid on it. It isn't the first time it happened, won't be the last...

Until we all bury those nasty words and attitudes.

Hey Rev Flores...you trying yto say racially, one group is louder than another...dish it out and take it...as a Hispanic?

How many mattreses do you have in your living room and bedrooms. How much greasy food do you eat? How lazy are ya?

Dish it out - but take it. See how that feels? I'm showing you by example how you are judging a culture/race. I'm caucasion. A baby-boomer, who read up on the slavery, and am ashamed of that part of history. I just don't condone hanging on for reparations or using it as an excuse for how they or we or that is because...

It's people like you that divide us...apologize to every race/color/creed. You a REV?

When I was growing up on the SouthSide, I used the N word and a lot worse. My parents raised me much better than that and never tolerated such talk, but the influence of old-time bigots was still around in my all-white neighborhood and I absorbed some of it. As a teenager I went to Catholic high school with Blacks, Hispanics and Asians and realized my parents were right and the bigots were wrong. Part of growing up.

Here's the stupid thing: a few times over the years, under some kind of stress or pressure, I've mumbled the N word under my breath to myself. I feel guilty and stupid and can imagine my Dad rolling over in his grave. I've never said it out loud in front of my kids or anyone else in many, many years. But does the fact that an old bad influence blurts out make me a racist? I hope not and don't think so. Let's be willing to forgive someone who says or does something truly accidental and stupid under pressure.

That being said, Richards, like Mel Gibson, went way beyond a mean-spririted slip of the tongue. They went into overdrive and added more than a single, blurted out, offensive word. It does make you think that they have some prejudices to deal with. If their apologies are sincere or not only God knows. But we can accept them at face value, judge them by their future actions and move along.

This country has mad many great strides to defeat racism but there's still work left to do. Let's focus on the mountains of racism where they still exist and not the molehills.

Joe-(#3 in posting)

That's fine if you don't feel offended due in part of what Richards said. But you are totally OUT OF ORDER for generalizing all blacks as a "loud obnoxious race" and racist. Do you live in a cave or what? It's apparent that you're not too bright to say such things, especially when we know you haven't had or could never have contact with every black person in America. Sounds to me like your bitter. You've probably had a couple of bad experience with a few "fools" that happen to be black and so you brilliantly come to the conclusion that "hell, all blacks must act this way". Get some therapy, you need it.

If the hecklers were white and Richards had called them "white trash," nobody would've had a problem with that. The real questions should be, "Why does our society consider the term 'black trash' redundant?" and "Did Richards mean 'black trash' when he said the N-word?"

I wish we could all learn to deal with each other as human beings and not by our gender, color, religion, etc. Example: when a woman cuts you off, you want to yell "bitch" at her. Does it really matter that she's a woman? Are women the only ones who drive badly? We are all part of the same "human family". It truly broke my heart to see the Michael Richards video. I want so badly for to believe that racism is a thing of the past, then something like this happens, and it sets us all back about 40 years. It also breaks my heart to hear other white people defending what he did. It is completely indefensiveable in my opinion. I'd like to apologize to all African-Americans for his behavior and hope we can all learn to accept each other no matter what color we are.

No doubt it was wrong. He may or may not be a racist, no one knows that but Michael Richards.

Ok, with that said, Mr Richards is the one that did this, not "all whites". If you think that gives you the right to do the same, your wrong. If you think this is an example of all white people, then you are a racist.

Those of you that are lumping all whites in to the racist category are not doing anything to stop this madness, in fact you are
creating the very thing you and I detest.

Michael Richards is NOT JEWISH so get that straight first. Talk about racist thinking, everything that happens is eventually hung on the Jews.

The very same day that Michael Richards used the N word, OJ Simpson was receiving 3.5 million dollars for a book and a t.v. interview about the best way to slaughter two innocent White people. Does anyone see the irony in that?

In our PC world it is open season on ONLY the White male. If the tables are turning, just get used to it and move on the way White people have been forced to do. This disrespectful namecalling has been going on both ways for a long, long time. It's only a big deal when Whites do it. It's way past time for a change. The slavery whine is old, stale and boring. Your worst enemy today is yourselves, black folks and you know it.

The fact of the matter is what Richards said was still wrong, but if that's how he feels I'm glad it came out on national television so we know what type of man he is. As African-Americans we are still stereotyped by all races, even though many of us are educated and have contributed to society just as much or even more than anyone else. No one never looks at the good only the bad. I do not condone the use of the "N" word, and before I forget to the Hispanic gentleman calling us loud and obnoxious which is not true, that is very ignorant and small coming from someone who might be in this country illegally.

Here is a comment from Rev. Jesse Jackson:

"Richards was truly wrong, but the blame just doesn't rest on the white comedian, who is known as the wacky Cosmos Kramer on the hugely successful syndicated "Seinfeld" television sitcom.

"I think number one, clearly it is obvious that Michael Richards engaged in a racist rant," Jackson Sr. said. "This is not the first time he has said these things, because he went beyond using the N-word. It seems to me that it's not enough that he should apologize and get treatment.

"The bigger issue here, however, is that we must challenge all media to stop saying in the records (we play) and in the videos the word nigger. We must move our young people from using the word nigger. We can't go from protesting derogation to getting rich off of self-derogation."

Jackson Sr. said he and Rainbow PUSH plan to mobilize leaders around the country soon to prohibit the word "nigger" from being used period. He said African Americans' use of the word has given white people the perception that they have license to use the vile word. The word has imposed much physical and mental pain upon African American people for generations.

"We must stop the self-derogation-for-profit movement," Jackson Sr. continued. "No other group practices self-derogation like us."


Mary, sorry, I sent in a comment towards Rev., the hispanic, typing in my comments, forwarding it without including my new, "annonymous" JustDucky name (previously, "Jean"). It was from me, if you chose to expose it. I hate racial slurs....I'm a hillbilly, that's fun, but I hate racial slurs. I hate it with all my heart. (This is between you and I: I grew up in a town, first town, founded west of the Mississippi River by the French. It is a small town, before I was exposed to any racial differences....and I still can't pounce on this...I knew no skin color. We had one black family at a time where blacks were to use certain bathrooms or fountains. I didn't know that at the time, nor was it ever expressed at the time in this small, gossipy town. We had Charlie, a black man, still devoted to our beautiful Catholic church in this small town, located 55 miles south of St. Louis. I went to school with his niece. We knew no prejudice...we knew no color. I only knew after we were forced to move to a then, beautiful new suburb south of Chicago, where my father was transferred to steer a site for transporting lime from the company in the small town.

Long story short, the "new suburb" (now black), was Dolton...many neighbors said they relocated from "South Shore, South Chicago, etc."

We were so naive, or we didn't judge, should I say? We knew no prejudice, everyone was equal in our eyes...we were astonished to meet neighbors denouncing how nice their neighborhood was...until. Well, we didn't even have a bathroom in our old house in Missouri. My father dug the basement from his hands; our swimming pool was the creek...our swings were the vines that we climbed, grasped, and dropped ourselves into the creek. We learned to avoid copperhead snakes... we treked the cliffs, found ancient "Indian" open tombs with bones (probably still there). What I am trying to say, though, back then, we knew no racial differences. Brenda, Charlie, they are still there..in my heart.


Old Charlie, after church next to the Catholic school I attended, still remembers me 35 years later...when I yell, "HEY, CHARLIE!!!!" He embraces me each time, now a weathered old man, sitting under that statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary....never once complained about or told us there was racial divide in 1963 until we left town and even revisited yearly, he was always there for us...Old Charlie.

I never knew predjudice existed...never. Even back then, old Charlie's uncle was treated with respect, him and his cousin, being the only black family in that town...they coated the streets with Black tar...

I remember everyone referred to him as "Nigger Bus" somehow the last name, "Bus" stuck with him, but it was all out of respect....until, one day, my brother and I (5 or 4) one year apart, watched in "awe" how he covered the street in tar...we did not know we were using the name disrespectfully, it was not what we said, it was how we said it...like we were taunting, and not saying it in respecet...looking back, he gave our everlasting lesson in respect...we kept saying, "Hey, N Buss, etc."

Old Charlie's Uncle N Buss, responded, sprayed us with tar used for the streets, and said, "yeah, now you're a "N," too."

Can I tell you how hard it was, getting yelled at by our mother, trying to get tar off with comet in the bathtub, telling us we deserved it? I still see Charlie, a fixture under the Virgin Mary....with an honorable statue in our life...a part of what made us who we are...we really see no color...he helped us define our world, long before we had a clue about it....

It's really true: children know no color, no racial boundaries...they are taught that.

My salutes, hats off to "Charlie." He did something unspoken that forever set a footstep to guide our lives.....I really miss him, and look forward to seeing him on Sundays when I make that trip back home again....every Sunday...waiting under the statue of Mary, ready to clear the pews for the next mass...in a town of 99 percent white...it wouldn't be the same without him.

HELLO MARY.PEOPLE INNER DEMONS ALWAYS FINDS A WAY TO SURFACE.I WONDER WHAT THE OUTCRY WOULD HAVE BEEN IF A BLACK COMEDIEN SHOUTED AT TWO JEWISH HECKLERS BY SAYING FIFTY YEARS AGO YOUR JEWISH ASSES WERE MARCHED INTO GAS OVENS.THE UPROAR WOULD HAVE BEEN PROFOUND.THAT COMEDIEN WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ON THE STAGE THE FOLLOWING EVENING.RIGHTFULLY SO.PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME THE COMPONENT OF HATE,BECAUSE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT.AND WHAT TYPE OF PARENT WOULD TEACH THEIR CHILDRENS TO HATE SOMEONE BASED ON THERE RACE.

Ms. Mitchell,

I agree heartedly with your universal condemnation of the use of the word "nigger." I remember going to see "Pulp Fiction" after hearing glowing reviews and was shocked by constant use of the word. Shortly thereafter, I saw a movie called "The Best Man" about a group of middle class buppies who constantly referred to themselves as niggers. I wanted to be sick.

Last year, I got into an argument with a acquaintance of mine who is white about the word. He felt that it was OK for him to use the word with his white buddies. He said that they would greet each other by saying "what up, nigga." I told him he was wrong and he didn't have a right to use the word.

Michael Richards use of the word nigger out of anger simply revealed his inner self. I'm appalled to see people like Jerry Seinfeld and Rosie O'Donnell come to Richard's defense. The reason is pretty clear: deep down, they empathize with Richards. They know that anger could unleash their inner Incredible Racist as surely as anger turned the fictional Dr. Banner into the Incredible Hulk, a brutish, unthinking beast bent on destruction.

Richards did not only use the word nigger. He also joked about lynching. Richards made light of the murder of innocent men, women, and children. Yet all he can say in his defense is that he was heckled and angry.

I would like to recommend a book for people like Richards, and also posters Joe and Jerry called "Without Sanctuary" and its companion site, http://www.withoutsanctuary.org .

After viewing the site, please tell me how funny lynchings are.

Siobhan, reality check. Here in South Africa blacks treat each other with such utter contempt that gang rape is even considered recreational!

Slavery? Racism? If you were SERIOUS you'd direct your anger towards perpetrators like the Sudan's El-Bashir, and not paper tiger comedians.

Why am I not surprise, the antagonist of Ms Mitchell's Blog entries is Jerry--- (aka. Kramer) --- with the first comment on RACIST jargon helping defend Michael Richards?

Jerry--- (aka. Kramer) --- you just couldn't hold your racist thoughts in any longer than Michael Richards, huh? What about
Senator Trent Lott, and his platitudes of Strom Thurmon--- (who is a well known RACIST)--- stating if he had become president in the late 1940's WE WHITE GUYS wouldn't be having all this trouble with the --- you know the word, Jerry --- people! -- It was only a LITTLE segregation in the eys of white folks, huh Jerry?

Than you for doing it though, REALLY, thanks! It simply means don't ever as an African American male, become comfortable, and let my guards down around Caucasians.

So Jerry, the RACIST, in the future don't call Black men or Black people in general angry anymore. We have reasons to be on guard and ANGRY when encountering the PRIVILEGE WHITE MALE!

No more "Can we all just get along?", and sing "We Shall Overcome!", when White Racism rears its ugly head, as though, not knowing it was there all along. NO MORE!

Also, Ms Mitchell, there is a difference within each ethnic group fondly using detrimental names with one another than an outsider.

I can go stand in the middle of Bridgeport --- that's if I don't get racially profiled by the police first, and be stop --- and scream nasty insinuations about the Irish (drunken or sober) and use Patty, Paddy-Wagaon or Mic, but it don't make it right, nor is it the same when they call each other a drunken louse whose grandmother sleep with the first Mayor Richard Daley, and that is how they got a job, does it?

I can't go to Skokie, walk around with a swastika shirt spouting "There was no Holocaust!" And call Jews, a Wanderer, Hymie -- though I believe -- they reference this term among one another, occasionally.

I can't go to a tailer park and scream 'You bleeping TPTs!", without expecting some repercussions, but whites say it all the time.

Ms Mitchell, you are from Chicago, remember playing the dozens? It was harmless, yet powerful if you were a better word-meister stringing along joke after joke after joke...*smile*...Come on sista, you don't come across as though you never played that game...*smile*

Jerry, you being a RACIST, inherently think others will tumble into the abyss of your dark ignorance. No we won't, but will stay mentally prepared for the day you and your ilk use the N-word.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

I stopped using the n-word a very long time ago. I've never used it as a term of endearment. In fact, I grew up during a time when calling someone "black" let alone the n-word were fighting words. Unlike you, I've never heard Jewish people or white people call each other derogatory slurs.

Siobhan, how can you say, "if that's all y'all get for all the crimes you've committed, you aughta thank God and keep it moving"? For all the crimes WE'VE committed? Are you serious? Am I, a white 23 year old living in 2006, responsible for slavery. These kind of sweeping generalizations are at the root of the problem of racism. I know my own history, and I know I've never participated in any racist action. I'm not saying I agree with the person you responded to, but please don't make the claim that all white people are responsible for slavery. That is simply not true and we need to work toward valuing one another as human beings instead of making blanket statements about an entire group of people.

On the actual topic of discussion, Michael Richards is an ignorant fool, as are all people who hate because of the color of someone's skin.

Michael Richards is an idiot and NO ONE should use that word. It is degrading and not funny even when it is used as a "term of endearment". How about a non-black loudly rapping an NWA song? Is THAT appropriate? Stop it. Stop it NOW...y'all

Wow, Joe! Hypothetically speaking, would it be okay if Jerry Seinfeld used racial slurs against hispanics because he thinks hispanics are lazy, stupid, subservient, and do not belong in N. America?

You conclude that Kramer's rant is not offensive to you because blacks are "an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude." How many black people did it take for you to reach this conclusion on the entire race?

I'm shocked by your comments but your opening statement that Kramer's rant is not offensive to you is somewhat confusing. You identify yourself as hispanic and then declare that you're not offended. Did you state your race because being hispanic might make you appear less-racist?

Siobhan...you're breakin my heart man. Imagine that.... another black guy using slavery as an excuse for his personal failures and for the failures of his race. It's a free country and Richards will have to face the consequences of committing the worst crime you can commit in our society......offending the tenets of political correctness. He could have murdered a black man and not be as ostracized as he will now be. Anyone, black or white, disagree with that? As far as dreadfully unfunny black comedians who incessantly skewer whites on Black Embarrassment Television....I find the double standard sickening but it's the country we live in at this point in its history and ....it doesn't play 2 seconds in my house and they can call each other nigger (or anything else) all they please. Who cares what blacks call each other? Joe, the hispanic male, hammered the nail square on the head.

oh my god ! it's words people. sticks and stones. i just love the overreactions by everyone. richards is an irrelevant nobody at this point. yet everyone is flipping out over his rant. yet last time i checked he still had the right to say what he wants , and to his opinions . we don't have to like it. i love how the two hecklers showed thier true colors by hiring that bigmouthed lawyer Gloria Allred,three days later so they could sue someone for speaking thier mind. what a country

Mary, I couldn't agree with you more concerning black Americans using the derogatory "n" word. However, from a psychological standpoint I must admit that this issue is deeper than it appears. I rather speculate that a lot of self-hatred is involved, and it needs to be studied or addressed by African-American psychologists. What do those young blacks that use the "N" word see in the mirror on a daily basis? This word was used by racist oppressors and slave traders to dehumanize, humilliate blacks and it worked for quite sometime. Just as if a child is called stupid and worthless by his/her parents and grows up to believe it. In the same manner, could it be that the traumatic effects of slavery experienced by the ancestors transcended time and space to manifest later in our youths? After all, self-hatred does not occur overnight.

Let the circus begin. The two men in the audience have hired Gloria Allred and, in the ultimate act of self-loathing and self-flagellation, Richards has contacted Jesse for advice. Who says no one ever volunteered to be a target of extortion. Guilty white libs from coast to coast who complain that the Bush administration has eroded our rights seem to have no problem with eroding the right to free speech when that speech doesn't conform to their ideals of political correctness. So Richards is probably a racist. So what? So is Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, jesse, John Conyers, Cynthia McKinney, Mary Mitchell, and Vernon Jarrett before her. Need I go on? So what? So are most of us, but most of us keep it under wraps because the consequences of exposing it far outweigh any benefit there may be. This is about one man who went to far and nothing more.

Google "violently racist rap music" and read lyrics black folks have been singing for years and years with no outrage from anyone. Everyone is having the vapors over the N word, yet no one seems to care about rap songs that small children hear from the cradle to adulthood. Music that proclaims killing white people is the thing to do, a thousand a week if necessary. There's no double standard in this country? Why is it only Michael groveling for forgiveness?

Are there white people singing mainstream songs about killing blacks? Are there white commedians doing shows making fun of blacks? Anyone? Anywhere? Name one Mary, name one white guy who could ridicule blacks the way blacks ridicule whites during their so called comedy sketches. Cracker, white BOY, Honky, Nazi, racist, white MF, the list goes on, all being used in the name of "comedy." One white guy screams the N word and the world tilts off its axis.

Trying to suppress hatred is like trying to hide a beach ball under water. There will always be hatred in this world for many reasons. The first one is that,the more progress blacks makes there is going to be envy from whites who doesn't have as much as blacks. Whites and other minorities need something to build their self-esteem on ,and their hold card is to call blacks the N.word. After they have said the nword,they do not have anything else to use that hurt so much. Every race in america needs a stepping stone to get them out of their mental rut. Hatred is taught in Most home in america,a nation that prides its self as being a Christian nation.Any nation with it's laws geared to protect only it's white citizen is soon to fall. Love is the nature of God,and we are far from the heart of God. Just reads some of these comments

"Get over it and move on" is the the answer. When racism cease to exist,then we all can move on. When the day come when blacks can walk the street like whites,not being stared at,accused fasely,doors of oppotunities open everywhere,getting fair housing,getting promoted and not denied because of your race,less contraband flowing into your community,equal treatment by law enforcers,and not being taken advantage by shysters,and other white collar crooks. Then, we can get over it and move on.

Well, Mr. Richards has certainly inspired some spirited debate. Unfortunately, he has also provided an opportunity for people to exchange racial insults, under the guise of discussion. Wouldn't it be better if we could agree that there are some real boneheads out there at all levels of color saturation and ignorance knows no ethnic identification? Then, let's agree that the way to get Mr. Richards, rap artists, black comedians, and avowed racists to stop using THE word (and any word like it) is to make it socially unacceptable. Heck, if we can do it with smoking, we ought to be able to do it with ignorance. We'll just have "No racism" zones, and if you want to use some vile racial epithet, you'll just have to go stand out in the cold and take your chances.
Unless it has slipped by us, we have some very serious problems in this country - and on this planet. We shouldn't have any time left to call each other names. The decisions we make in the next decade or so will have ramifications far into the future. We can't keep having the same fight we've been having for 300 years. Blacks, whites, hispanics, Indians, Iraqis, Egyptians, Christians, Jews, and Muslims died in the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ater 9/11, the cry was "United we stand." Oh, really?

Black people as a whole do not use slavery as an excuse for our life. Jerry, Joe whoever, each person in life can only control what that individual said.

That being said Richards is a moron, whatever race, whatever color. His comments were ignorant, off-base and stupid. I don't care what the hecklers said, he has the microphone! Talking about lynchings, and having a fork stuck up our f****** a**, and all other atrocities, no wide scale group of white men and women have ever been subjegated to these actions by blacks, police, milita, or Jim Crow laws.

It's not about 300+years of slavery and another 60+years of indented servitude. It is about as Archie said"I WONDER WHAT THE OUTCRY WOULD HAVE BEEN IF A BLACK COMEDIEN SHOUTED AT TWO JEWISH HECKLERS BY SAYING FIFTY YEARS AGO YOUR JEWISH ASSES WERE MARCHED INTO GAS OVENS.THE UPROAR WOULD HAVE BEEN PROFOUND.THAT COMEDIEN WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ON THE STAGE THE FOLLOWING EVENING.RIGHTFULLY SO."

Or the Mexicans Rey who had Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah,etc. stolen from them in the spanish american war. The Chinese, who still battle opium addiction in the U. S. and abroad. The Native Americans losing all of this land to the settlers. Creating humor from a races painful memories--- WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!! --- I am working to change my life, as a black man I had to start from scratch. No excuses, I live or die based on my life. But I'll be damned if I let a moron like Richards say what he wants to say about me and my culture(no matter how he feels) and just get away with it. I will contact my local satellite stations and voice my opinion about getting Seinfeld off the airwaves.


A goofy bastard like that does not need for the royalty checks to roll in anymore. Start a new life, jerk.

Kramer reminds me of Jerry bro ignorant but because he is "white"he thinks he has monopoly on this Blog and to shecky fullas###: Joe didnt hammer the nail on the head at all by stating blacks were loud and obnoxious ,give me a break, I am african american and have hispanic neighbors(illegals?) ,they fight all day have live,loud mariachi bands in their house with the occasional spouse tumbling out the window in a drunken stupor screaming(in broken english) for neighbors to call the police.The "man"of the house even stated I should learn spanish which I responded he should learn english(common sense moron ,you're in the U.S)People like the racists who are still on this pseudo-hitler reichwing trip,you should know soon you will be exstinct like Hitler and your KKK friends and hopefully your offspring(s)will "not" make you proud by becoming good citizens and contributing positively to society unlike Jerry Bro,Shecky Full of s### and other Ked Fed(king of Rap) type Posers.By the way If blacks are so bad why do whites emulate their talk,walk,music,culture etc.no matter how hard you try you are still who you are!just like being ignorant it has no racial boundaries!

it's not the 'n' word it's how you use it. it's a part of american culture and if you go to any inner city in north america people will talk like that. if your ethnic you know what i'm talkin about.whussup my nigg?...and all that. he used the word as a SLUR...and that ain't cool. common now....no black comedian had a outburst of anger towards a white person in the crowd...jokes is jokes....slurs are something else. white people stop defending it...he was wrong.

to anonymous: Its nice that Jackson (why did he wait so long) wants these hip-hop folks and what have you to discontinue the N-word. Yes, thats a big step. But coming from him might not carry much weight since he himself was caught using racist anti-semitic remarks. Referring to 'those hymies in hymie-town'. Remember, a 'preacher should always practice what they preach'. ..

to angryman: You wonder what whites say behind your back. Well, I can tell you. Some indeed do make derogatory remarks. However, most are too darn busy trying to make a living, making ends meet. Most of us got our own problems to worry about. We can't worry about your individual problems. Is that blunt enough? And don't tell me blacks never talk derogatory about other groups. I've overheard them where I worked. I've caught them with there garbage thoughts spilling out. Everybody clean-up their own act and everything will take care of itself.

one of the dumbest things that i have been hearing is if blacks can say the "n" word why cant I. ok lets give life by the logic. For all you parents out there that smoke and drinks, if you ever catch you 10yr old kid drinking or smoking, please do not punish them. If you catch your 12 yr old having sex, please do not punish them, since it is ok for you guys to do those things, im assuming by your logic, it should be ok for your child to do it too

Mary,

If there's one thing that your race blog has taught me is that racism is a lot more rampant than anyone believes. It's actually kind of scary. Anyone who is defending Richards or justifying his behavior by pointing to rap music is a closet racist!!!!

"As a hispanic male, i'm not offended. Blacks are an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude. A racist bunch themselves. Take what you dish out and move on."... Wow. As a black male, I'm not offended... Because that comment CAME from an hispanic.

Both the hispanic and the black that posted the above are morons. Keep fighting each other idiots!!!

"I dont understand why black people use slavery as an excuse for all their current problems. You can't blame the present whites for what happened in the past, thats just ignorant. It is ridiculous to say that you are oppressed because of slavery. That was history, lets keep it there. It would be just as ludicrous to say that all Germans today are nazis."

Maybe Christina should brush up on her American history. If she did, she would realize that after slavery, blacks were sold out when Rutherford B. Hayes was given the presidency in 1876. In return, he pulled Federal troops out of the South and ended reconstruction. This gave way about 80 years of Jim Crow. Blacks were denied the ability to build wealth, you know, the type of wealth white America built on the backs of blacks, Mexicans, Chinese, American Indians, and mostly every other people of color throughout the world.

Facts first: no less than 20 people who were celebrating one in the group's birthday walked into the club IN THE MIDDLE of the show (by their own account) not only disrupting the performer's act, but all the other paying customer's enjoyment too. A no-no by anyone's standards who knows anything about the entertainment industry. They were all seated (if you've ever been to a comedy club, you know how long and disruptive to all concerned that process can be) and then they began ordering their drinks all at the same time (again by their own account) and I am guessing that being that they were at a birthday party they were probably primed up and in the partying mode already and each began screaming out their orders at the top of their lungs so each one could be heard over the rest of the paying audience's laughter. That's just a guess though; I could be wrong. That is, of course, except for the 4 yr. old child they had with them (once again by their own account.) One wonders, was there any more children in the group? One also wonders, what in the hell business does a 4 yr. old child have being at an adult comedy club?!? I remeber Charles Barkley, an NBA basketball player, spitting on a 10 yr. old little white girl who was innocently sitting in the seats watching a basketball game, just because he was angry about being heckled (just like Michael Richards was.) I also remember Charles Barkley saying "I don't like white people." and "White people are stupid." But these were all just incidents of "Charles being Charles." 'Scuse me? Perhaps he just got caught using "lazy language" Ms. Mitchell? And now Charles is a respected member of the sports media. How nice. There are certainly many, many more episodes of black celebrities, and not just comedians, using racial epithets and spewing hateful racist remarks about white people, as has been pointed out here a lot by the above bloggers. Double standard, to be sure. A couple more of those celebrities comes quickly to mind, and one does happen to be a comedian, the other can't quite make up his mind what he is. Have any of you bloggers out there ever heard the words of wisdom of a Mr. Paul Muni or a Mr. Dick Gregory? I'm sure you have, Ms. Mitchell. Racism, or Michael Richards, couldn't hold a candle to the hate spewed out by these guys, but you won't hear about it in the mainstream media. I'm not by no means condoning what Michael Richards did. No way. I'm just trying to point out some more of the facts of the Michael Richards fiasco, and that there are other celebrities who have those same feelings about people of races other than their own, especially against those of the white race, but most of us won't hear about them from the politically correct media. If we do, all we'll get is the same old: "Ha-ha, it's just Charles (or whomever) being Charles." escape and everybody will just laugh it off. HUH?!? Or the newer, and now my favorite, "lazy language" excuse. That's rich. If Gloria Allred gets one penny for these guys, it will certainly be a travesty!

I am a 37 year old white male. I grew up in a 98% black community. I never saw someone by their color, nor did they. people were just people and we all were friends.
Then, I went to school, stayed in school, never ditched becaused I FEARED my parents wrath. Remember the good old days when the street lights came on and we had to be in the house? Remember when,if you stood on a corner and a police officer even looked cockeyed at you (without saying a word)you immediately vacated that corner (or wherever) because you knew that whatever the police did to you, your parents would give it to you 10 times as bad? Remember when if you acted up you got punished? Punished meant a solid grounding and probably a few whacks.
I got a job at age 15 (with parents permission)and worked every weekend and then during Summer. This was the way of life that I, and my siblings, knew.
I wasn't aware of the slavery issue that happened long before I was born. This issue wasn't brought up by anyone I knew (Black or White) because it had nothing to do with our current lives. We were all just friends and enjoyed living life.
I know, I'm rambling, sorry. I remember back in my youth that if you wanted something you had to earn it, nothing was given to you. Stay in school (I am not a college graduate), stay out of trouble, respect your peers and authority figures, and work for what YOU want. I currently have a good paying blue collar job and I support myself.
I believe the problems of today (White and Black communities)stem from lack of 2 parent households. I know that is sometimes not possible to maintain, but it seems to be too widely accepted today. Set an example for your children, know what your children are up to.
There is no supervision for today's youth and no respect for authority.
As far as the Richards rant goes...he was absolutely in the wrong. I do strongly believe that no one (including Blacks & rappers & comedians) should use the n word. Lead by example.
Ever hear the term that you emulate what you see and hear everyday? I believe that I read in one of Mary's articles that young White youth buy the majority of rap cd's. Well, if the N word is continually used in rap, then a lot of young White people hear that word everyday in song. Can it be expected to hear something over and over and not eventually say the word? I don't know, let me know if I am wrong. If the word is so offensive then it should not be used by any human being, period.

I am stunned that there are people who justify using the "N" word. I don't care what race, creed, religion or nationality a person has as their background, that word is horrifying in it's historical content. Please know that I am not a knee jerk liberal, but a midwestern conservative. That "N" word is not just negative, but truly disgusting.

Get over it. Apparently dark skin is also very thin.

I read you column and blogs faithfully Mary and while I don't always agree with your opinion, I have respected it as yours. However, I don't see how you can be so nonchalant about this issue. You can't compare the usage of the word by African Americans and the usage of the word by Caucasions. The context is totally different. One is said out of total disrespect and has a history of hatred, while the other is said among friends and family. Ill give you this example. As a family, we may argue and fight and talk about each other amongst ourselves but an outsider does not have the same 'privileges' and as a 'family' we generally will stand together and oppose what we feel was an attack on the 'family'. Those comments made by 'Kramer' were full of so much hatred. You can kid yourself into believing that he was just pissed or as some have said, intoxicated, but he clearly stated 'Its shocking...what lies beneath'. Also, if he was intoxicated, know that a drunk tongue generally speaks sober thoughts.

On one hand, everything must be taken in context. On the other hand, there are NO circumstances that make such a racist tirade acceptable. The only variable that makes use of the "N" word acceptable to any degree is the common use of the word by black America. If it's off limits, it's off limits. Stop using the word. We'll never get away from racist humor. White people laugh at cracker jokes. Red necks laugh at red neck jokes. Black people laugh at black jokes. But if we want the horrible word purged from our vocabulary, we have to stop using it. If we want the healing to continue, we have to stop picking at the wound.

ANY use of the word, regardless of intention, regardless of the race of the user, regardless of context - ANY use of the word prolongs the degree of acceptablity. If a child does not hear the word, that child will not use the word.

-just a thought from a non-racist white guy of the Human Race

Michael Richards is not only a bigot but also an idiot!

Michael Richards is an idiot and a bigot. He is also Jewish! His comment about what would have happened to the two black males 50 years ago was really telling.

For one, he said that “50 years ago WE would have? strung you upside down from a tree with a fork stuck up your ass! That was more than outrageous. It was totally uncalled for and it proves two things about Michael Richards…..

1. He sees himself as part of a white and oppressive, mainstream, majority (reference to the WE in his speech) and could envision himself committing unspeakable crimes against African Americans.
2. He has forgotten where he came from! Richards is Jewish, of Jewish descent.

The two black males that Richards assaulted with his hate speech responded by calling him a “white boy? but they should have called him a JEW. He should have been reminded that he is Jewish and that 60 years ago, another Jew or half Jew was orchestrating a mass Holocaust against the Jews in Germany and Europe; people whom represented the very thing about himself that he hated the most, his Jewish ness, Jewish heritage, Jewish Blood, Jewish Ancestry, etc.

The Holocaust Museum has the words “We can never forget" prominently displayed for all of it’s visitors to see. Richards has forgotten, because if he had remembered, he would understand the dangers of racial intolerance and bigotry and would not allow himself to harbor such sentiments!

I don’t accept his apology, just as many in the Jewish community didn’t accept Mel Gibson’s apology.

I would like to accompany Richards on a visit to the DuSable Museum of African American History, and to the Holocaust Museum, so that he can understand that (even though Jews are more successful at being assimilated into and accepted by the mainstream) Jews and Blacks, as well as other - ethnic and racial - minority groups, share a common history of oppression!

Finally, in addition to Richards settling the law suit filed by the two black males that he assaulted, I would like to see a mass call for reparations from Richards in the form of cash donations to the DuSable Museum of African American History and The United Negro College Fund.

I’d also like to see a mass boycott by ‘people of conscience’ of all Seinfeld reruns, DVDs, shows, current comedy stand up routines by any of it’s former cast members, until after the aforementioned financial reparations have been made by Richards

Rey, you stated "As a hispanic male, i'm not offended. Blacks are an obnoxious race..Loud, inappropriate and rude. A racist bunch themselves." It is safe to say that all races have members that are racist. However, one need only look to once quiet, low-crime rate suburbs that are now predominantly hispanic for examples of the behavior of hispanics. I'm quite sure the residents of Cicero, Elgin, Aurora, West Chicago (to name a few) would have PLENTY of examples of rude, inappropriate, loud, obnoxious behavior of hispanic people (mostly Mexican). Of course the same could be said of black people and white people. So before you aim YOUR racist views at black people, look in the mirror.

Almost 3,000 (almost) of our soldiers died in Iraq, not to mention the total of Iraqi's killed. We have homeless people of all colors, starving, living in the streets while we sit nice and warm in our own homes, enjoying freedom.

Not to change the subject, but how is this comedian's conduct outweigh the magnitude of what we are discussing at the moment?

We all have our opionions, and of course, this blog is about race...but given the time of the year, the magnitude of what we are all discussing....can we give focus on Mary's topic, by saying in unity..."We need each other to love one another and set aside our old, embedded ways and try and change in unity to overcome what is so - SO silly....compared to the what is going on in our restless world today?

Can we really, someday, do that for the sake of our children? Can we just forget about Kramer, or any subect about RACE, and use this as a forum to instill our ill-perceived ideas, asking and interacting....to "How can we really get along?" Forget the aka Kramer...he's a guy that's in a show business.


Let's take advantage of Mary's blog to really get to know one another, so we can move on. We don't have a blog like this anywhere else. Let's learn from each other, don't criticize, just let us try and come together on issues without attacking one another.

Afterall, are there not any "bad seeds" in every family...no particular race? There are always secrets behind each door, whether in good or bad neighborhoods...you can live in Bridgeport, Naperville, WHEREVER. It doesn't matter unless you learn to get along. Bury Kramer..let's do a new post. Let's just do it on what Mary has to deal with everyday without a by-line...we need no particular subject to rouse and stray from her orignal post. Let's get it out in the open and ask what we can do to change things...I think this is Mary's real goal: let's air, make suggestions, and no matter what the subject...let us all be a team of mankind. Air, but don't point...

I have mixed feelings on the N. Word. I do know that how blacks react to it, depends on the context in which the word is used, and not simply the use itself.

IE If a black male greets another black male and says “What’s up my nigga?, and gives a friend whom he hasn’t seen in a long time a hung, then it’s used as a term of endearment. Richard’s use of the word, and the use of the word by white racists, “you f…..ing N’s?, is a hateful use of the word.

A good example of contextual use of a word and how it’s meaning varies depending on use, can be found in the way that Puerto Ricans use the word Negrito/Negrita. Literally translated it means little black boy/girl. Puerto Ricans use Negrito among each other regardless of their racial appearance. Blond haired blue eyed Puerto Ricans call each other Negrito and Negrita, as well as everyone calling African appearing Puerto Ricans and everyone in between Negrito and Negrita.

Used as such, and not reserved only for Black looking Puerto Ricans, it’s meaning has been transcended. Could Americans learn something from the way that Puerto Ricans have transcended and changed the meaning and use of a word?

I can’t imagine two white American males greeting each other and hugging and saying what’s up my nigga?. Although some younger and ‘more urban’ Puerto Ricans greet each other this way, in English!

Also, there is a class difference in how the word is used as well. Usually, more ‘urban’ blacks will be comfortable calling each other nigga. While middle class and upper class blacks tend to shun the word.

Also, Richards is Jewish, and he doesn’t represent all white males, any more than he represents all Jews. His comments are especially stupid as he also definitely doesn’t represent or speak for Neo Nazi KKK members! So who was he referring to when he said “we?? Richards is sadly mistaken if he believes that Neo Nazis and KKK White supremacist have a better deal for him than what Hitler would have had, or than they have for blacks!

I don't think the two black males whom were assaulted found Gloria Allred, whom, like Richards, is also Jewish. But, I’d be willing to bet an eye tooth that she found them! She knows her history and she hasn't forgotten the lessons that the Jewish Holocaust has taught about racial/ethnic intolerance.

Michael Richards is wealthy, and there is a saying among the rich and wise that "with great wealth comes great responsibility".

I believe that Comics, actors, politicians, and others public figures whom are given a forum to express themselves, also have a responsibility to do so in a manner that isn't blatantly racist, nor profoundly hateful, as Michael Richards' comic routine turned out to be.

I don’t listen to rap music so I’m not exposed to hateful lyrics that are sang by some rappers about whites. However, rappers tend to have more urban roots and come from more lower class status than middle class blacks, and they don’t speak for, nor represent the black masses, any more than Richards represents the Jewish masses.

When Gibson made anti-Semitic Remarks, there was a huge Jewish outcry and condemnation. Why shouldn’t there be a huge black outcry and condemnation for Richards, who’s remarks about lynching and Ns, were much more hostile and damning than Gibson’s belief and verbalization of Jewish power and societal manipulation.

Gibson also didn’t say, oh, Hitler was great, or right, or 60 years ago in Germany and Poland, we would have ……

Finally, Richards’ Kramer character also burned the Puerto Rican flag during the Puerto Rican day parade in NY city at the end of one show? Why was that even written into the script? Even though it was made to appear as an accident, it was wrong, even though it was intended as a joke.

I wondered why Richards didn’t simply refuse to perform the stunt/scene. Now I know why!

As a black male,teen at that i am looked a as inferior.At the young age of 14 im able to know what words are offensive and what words are not.The term nigger in my opinion is the most offensive word in the English language.The "N" word's level of offensiveness has increased in recent years.Nigger has been used in a derogatory way since the Revolutionary War. Many people believe that the words nigger and nigga are used the same.The word nigga is yes, used among blacks to represent saying whats up or how you doin to a friend. The word nigger is used to reprsent an offensive comment towards blacks.As the book labels nigger means a victim of prejudice;a person who is economically,politically,or socially disenfranchised. Over my years of growing up i have been thinking of a nigger a rude person.Also people are thinking about how he used the word nigger, telling blacks to let it go. These specific people think that he did not mean it in a harmful way. Okay if he didn't why did he also mention lynching. How did that come to pass.It is said that black comedians use the words "honkie",and cracker as offensive comments. No, that is not true,these word are used just for a simple laugh.Nigger is used for a simple cry.Nigger was used to make slaves feel inferior,to make slaves feel low. I have no further comments if you are smart you should know the difference between being funny and being a racist.

I AM AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS ISSUE BEFORE THIS FOOL "KRAMER" SAID ANYTHING. OK, HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE.. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT ANYONE CALLS YOU---WHAT WILL YOU ANSWER TO? IF I CALLED YOU A DOG, DOES THAT MEAN YOU WILL BARK? PEOPLE HAVE THE GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO BE IDIOTS, SO LET THEM. AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN, I AM LESS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT SOME HACK HAS-BEEN COMEDIAN HAS TO SAY, BUT I AM MORE CONCERNED WITH THE DRUG ABUSE, BLACK-ON-BLACK CRIME, HOMELESSNESS, POOR EDUCATION, AND GENERAL LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY THAT RUNS RAMPANT IN OUR COMMUNITIES. THE WORD NIGGER IS DESPICABLE, NO DOUBT. HOWEVER, THE BLACK COMMUNITY HAS MUCH LARGER PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH. WE NEED TO POUR OUR EFFORTS INTO ELIMINATING THE ILLS OF OUR COMMUNITIES--AND IF WE DO THAT, WE WILL CHANGE HOW OTHERS VIEW US.

I would like to thank all the hispanics and whites who understand why the black community is angered by Kramers comments. Eventhough many races have their views and opinions of us(blacks), I commend you all on being individuals and expressing your understanding of right and wrong. Thanks again.

This Kramer is a cowardly lier , he blames this on the world, no it himself and his disgusting racial views! But now how do us black folk now feel about O.J.? Proud? He only used us when he needed us!

I am glad you made a comment on this Mary. I do agree that we as African American must learn that this is a free country and everyone has a right to say what they want. We as Blacks can not make fun of the way whites act and then pitch a fit when they make fun of us. "Kramer thought he was being hilarious. He was using a tactic long used by comics when someone is heckling them,,embarace the heckler. Only he was plainly not funny. We as Blacks need to realize this out country and we are "free". Slavery has ended,Jim Crow has ended. We can be whatever we want. Let's get past "Kramer's" comments.

it was called slavery "tired"that is probably the main thing that sticks in a black persons mind.How can a white person say anything bad about someone else when the atrocities commited by whites in a subhuman manner can be bragged about by people like jerry and "tired" and other litany of cousin marrying poor white trash pedophile serial killer types .(the kind who would prefer to live next to John Gacy then a good black family..remember,you will reap what you sow, black or white)

It sounds like Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, the two men from the audience, intend to sue Mr. Richards claiming mental distress or something, I guess. I think these men see an opportunity to get money, nothing more. I hope they don't get a cent, it's wrong. This isn't suppossed to be how it works in our country. Do we really want our "Freedom of Speech" with the condition "but you'll have to pay for it if it's offensive"? That's a contradiction, there is no freedom of speech if we're taken to court and forced to pay people off for what we say. People can burn the flag, Nazis can march in Skokie, the list is endless, all sorts of offensive behavoir the courts have rightly ruled are legal under the freedom of speech guaranteed by our constitution. Do the people who argue that these two men should be compensated really want to give up our freedom of speech? Do we really want another the government or the courts watching what we say?

Interesting group of comments. Obviously there exists strong feelings on this topic...rightfully so. Rarely do I take time to add my own comments to a forum such as this, but with all these comments a few things have not been said.
I am a white male, 39. As such I can say that if I had a time machine in my garage I would use it to go back and fight racist issues and start my own underground railroad to Canada, where I live. Since I do not have a time machine, all I can do is promote understanding. Having said that, you people on this forum must understand that racism is not a 'white disease'. Some of the most racist people I have ever known were not white skinned. It does not matter who uses the 'N' word, or any other racially disgusting term, it is wrong. Until there is univeral agreement on this, racism will thrive, hibernate, fester, and permeate in the underworld of ignorance and hatred.
Show me one person on this forum that had their choice of skin color.
So what do I think of Krammer's rant? Well let me say that I too have used the 'N'word during casual comments over the years and you know what? It was very ignorant of me and something that I do not do anymore. The thing is, I am a nobody and there is no video tape of me saying these things. Hence, I can live my life and walk down the street and live in peace and to be honest I have more Asian and Indian and African friends than I do friends with white skin. Krammer did a bad thing, made worse by his very visible profile. He is obviously very aware of this and hurt by it. Does this, or should this erase all of the years he make us laugh as a nut case on a TV show? Let him go through the process of understanding and healing. He will not do this again. For those of us on this forum that want peace and understanding let us stand vigilant against racism wherever it occurs and let us forgive Krammer and show him there is room in this world and forgiveness for people who make mistakes, lest if there were no room for people who make mistakes the world would be empty.

I am afraid Cosmo Kramer said something that must have been alcohol induced. He should have laughed off the jeers from the two African-American guys in the audience, no question about it. Richards had too thin a skin that night.
But for this to become a national news story points out the insanity of where this nation's lack of racial tolerance has gotten to. Blacks are upset (rightly so) with the discrimination that they have been forced to endure. Unfortunately, many blacks (but not all, by any means)have decided that they have a "lot of catching up to do" for wrongs that they feel were inflicted on them. This just futher reaffirms the "inaccurate" racial stereotypes that many whites have formed that blacks want "something for nothing" from Whitey. It makes the black people seem like leaches on American society. This is so wrong. A few African-Americans have been allowed to stereotype the many among the African-American community. It has become totally nuts. Add a dose of media seekers and nut cases like Al Sharpton to further throw fuel on a fire and the problem will never get fixed. What a shame.
About the time that you think that finally a sane guy like Barack Obamma has come along and you think "finally" a guy that we "all" can believe in, Barack endorses Todd Stroger and shows that he is simply another political boot licker for his Cook County Democrat Party.
Colin Powell, where are you?

Hi Mary,

Somewhere down the blog Michael Knight proclaimed "I agree with Ms Mitchell except for one thing...it doesn't matter if black people use the "n" word to each other." stating that it means something different. Well, wishing doesn't make it so. This perjorative means EXACTLY the same thing whatever the color of mouth it comes from. This is the fine covert nuance of the word. It always degrades, with affection or with hate, it always lowers both parties to an ignorant and useless entity.

And please, those proclaiming that only one race can use the word insinuates that the other race should maintain a higher ethical set of tandards and not engage in that type of language. I have no problem in not using certain words in ordinary everyday speech. If only other cultures could evolve in like manner.

I'm a Black guy

After reading Micheal Richard's comments, I couldn't help but laugh. When you get passed the automatic trigger reactions, those two black hecklers deserved every word. The only thing that insulted me about this situation is that Richards went to Sharpton(?!) and Jackson(?!) to make his apology. This was a real missed opportunity for him.

There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years where well-behaved young black male students have been shot dead by violent gang members. Richards could have apologized to the family of a black boy who was killed simply for being good in school.

Jesse Jackson still owes me and the rest of the black community a big apology himself. He campaigned for the release of Tookie Williams, instead of fighting for the families of Tookie's black male victims.

What's the difference between a black man using the word "cracker" and a white man using the word "nigger"?

The black race doesn't own any aircraft carriers.

Since the attacks I have received on here from blacks and some guilty white liberals are too numerous, I cannot respond to each one. So I will respond to all by saying if you don't like what I say, TOO DAMN BAD! As for the Richards issue, I heard this morning on the news that the blacks in the crowd want to be compensated with money from Richards because of what he said. I guess this is just another shakedown by blacks to get some handouts. I guarantee the racist Jesse(hymies in hymietown)Jackson and Sharpton and the other black, racist reverends were celebrating when they heard Richards tirade. This is how these boys have gotten rich, yet black America is still naive enough to support them. Also, no one has answered my question. Which is worse? A white guy going on a racist tirade verbally, or the black on white violent crime that is rampant in this country and specifically here in Chicago?

Tired, listen to Ralphie May's stand-up routine. Done right, as Mr. May does it, the routine is hillarious. There is a hispanic comedian (can't remember his name) that hits pretty much every race and ethnic background. These are funny because they make people look at themselves in a non-threatening way. What Kramer (lets face it, Kramer is all that man will ever be) did was not part of any act, it was an outburst. Please don't take what I said as a jab of any kind, Tired, it is just what came to mind when I read your post.

Anyway, the one thing that I do take offense to is the comment about "everybody" being racist on some level. That comment in itself is at least prejudicial, and seems to be a way of justifying hatred. Don't you believe it, people. Don't do it, it is a trap. If someone believes that I hate them (doesn't matter what the reason) then they are not being fair to me.

Why can't everyone just hate broccoli like I do.

I love how you brought up the position of how some black people use the word around white people.I would like to add that black people should not being using thwe word at all.The word is filled with hate and has no postive maning therefore it should not be used by anyone for any reason.
On the issue of Krammer using the word and trying to justify his actions by saying it was an emotional outburst...that isn't a good enough reason.This morning on my way to school a radio station was having a open discussion on the topic and a woman called in with a very valid and interseting point.If a black person had done sonething of the same degree as Krammer did society would be handling it much differently.She also went on to say that she didn't feel that society would accept the reason that Krammer gave from a black perosn.Sadly, I must say that I agree.
On a personal note I am sick of hearing about Kramers actions and I feel like the way the media keeps going on about it they are glorifying it and giving it to much attention.Kramers actions just gives Americans a painful reminder of how racisim is still alive in not only America but the world.
Perhaps instead of dwelling on this one case we as a country should try to work towards ending racism all together!

There are a few things that bother me, after reading all the posts, thus far.

1) Why does a "hispanic," Joe convey in his message and label all people of Afro-American descent as "loud and etc.?" I have to wonder why one ethic group thinks another ethic group is lower than his in this day and age..classifying then all as "loud," when I very well could say the same about the "Hispanics." If I want to be cruel, and tell him the truth, my son has friends and I have friends and my whole family has very dear friends that are African-American, Hispanic, Mexican, and all are respectful people. The few you refer to exists in every nationality. Shame on your comment.

Another thing that bothers me is that racial slurs, barriers are not to blame on society as a whole. For example, that black men are not given the jobs...sometimes the very ones screaming that are the ones who expect to be employed as a minority, but really don't have the credentials. There are many people with whom I work with of Black, Oriental, Mexican descent that are a joy to be with, and work very hard....

Lastly, I am bothered, even though it may have recently ended as few as 40 or 50 years ago...the barriers Martin Luther King brought down...that "racism" still exists...in many different ways. There is white trash, black trash, Hispanic trash...why are we still talking about slavery. Our generation should never forget it, but when will the Black people forget it and realize it's not that way anymore...the police brutality regarding Blacks makes news...you have Jesse Jackson to bring attention to it. Where's Jackson when black boys beat up a white boy? Where was Jesse Jackson when some guy (white) was forced to walk home from a police station in Ford Heights, only to get beaten in a comma? Bottom line, what IS Rainbow Coalition about when it's only for the black people, not people of all cultures/color?

Lastly, when are we gonna bury this hatchet? I do not know racism...I honestly don't. I see character, intelligence, a straight-shooter FROM the HEART.

All you guys out there, if you don't like Comedy Hour, and can't take a joke, shut it off...I'm white, and I laugh when they make fun...it's comedy. You want 60 minutes? Go there. Stop this crap. You know only uneducated, unmindful, not-caring, low down idiots judge by color...without really wanting to know that person, and see past it without realizing whom you are talking to.

I have no annimosity towards human-kind. We are all equal and in each culture/race...every culture/race...there are a few bad seeds. It's up to us as individuals to quit pumping up this crap...

What the comedian did, no doubt was different than what black commedians do. But, you know what? I learn a lot about different cultures, listening and laughing at their jokes. I actually learn what they think or do among their culture. If you can't laugh with them, shut up and tune out.

Stop this racial divide, now.

What's the big deal? I ride the Red Line & 352 Pace Bus and believe me, it gives one's ear's stronger words than a P!@# off white male comedian can ever give. Why is it bad and an insult when another man/person of another race, say what's said 5-day's a weeks, on public transportation? Either or it stings my ears, regardless of the make, model, sex or race of the individual. It happen's every day, if you don't believe me, ride the Red Line and/or the 352 Pace Bus, you'll see for yourself, that white male comedian ain't said nothing when compared to what black people say to and about other black people! Get Over It!!!!

All I want to add to a great discussion is this: I am an African-American male and I cannot chastise a white person for using the word nigger when African-Americans use it all the time. The damn recording corporations should not accept it and we the American Public shouldn't buy it. Hit those dumb thug bastards in their pockets and they'll fly right with the quikness.

WE AS AMERICANS SHOULD STAND TOGETHER AND REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS LANGUAGE. THE TERM "NIGGER" MUST BE PUT TO DEATH.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

I stopped using the n-word a very long time ago. I've never used it as a term of endearment. In fact, I grew up during a time when calling someone "black" let alone the n-word were fighting words. Unlike you, I've never heard Jewish people or white people call each other derogatory slurs.

MY RESPONSE:

"Unlike you?, or I to be grammatically correct, as you previously stated Ms. Mitchell you have never heard white people used derogatory slurs at one another, huh? Come again!?

Ms. Mitchell, this is when you need to breathe, take a moment before responding to posts which you MIGHT THINK are accusations on your personal character. It is hard though, when most of the posts are detrimental. You are human and no matter how thick your skin is some things can get to a person. I did not say you used the N-word as a term of endearment. I simply stated don’t you remember people playing the dozens, considering you are from Chicago? Rather it lead to a fight is not the point. Some times it did and most times it was laughed off.

Also, I grew up at a time when calling someone Black, an African, the N-word, or even big-lipped could cause a fight. A woman called the B-word would cause a fight. Let’s put it out here on the real. If a light complexion black person called a dark-complexion person nappy-headed, this could cause an argument! Please, don't go flighty on me. Some of us are presently doing the light versus dark complexion issue right now, and it is sad.

Remember -- or maybe you didn't grow up hearing this either -- calling another Black person half-white or hearing a statement, "You know they mixed!", could cause consider harm to the psyche of the lighter complexion person, while at the same time it didn’t really build up the psyche of the darker complexion individual, unless trying to used ill-advised put-downs? It was momentary gratification and that is all.

Recently in one of your blog forums someone called you high-yellow, which I thought was truly unnecessary. You and I know where they were trying to go with this, but the funny part is you would not be considered that type of complexion, realistically. I am still trying to figure that one out?...*smile*….

If today, at this present moment in your life, you state you have never heard another white person use a derogatory name towards one another, I guess I will have to believe you. But I know you don't sit in an ivory tower on a pedestal, therefore, if Oprah Winfrey can have a "Crash" moment, or simply listen to the ills of the dominant community on a talk-show, I know you have heard them as well.

Do not dig your head in the sand, and bring it back out, only when the N-word is used harshly in an arena, while some other not so nice things are being said about people of color as well. Okay?

If going by your previous columns, you will eventually write about the 92-year-old Black woman shot down in her home by the police. Also, you will write about the New York police department shooting un-armed Black males again, and again, and again, and again, and again....*Black Men wake up!! Black Men the N-word does NOT kill, it is people with very little melanin who have no problem doing this!!...*sigh*

Black Men, it does not take over 20 bullets to kill an elephant, so why shot over 50 times at a human being? Black men, we are NOT viewed as Humans Being!!....*SIGH*

God Bless.

Mitchell comment:

Again, the n-word isn't a word I use. I can't remember the last time I lashed out at someone using that word or played the dozens or used it as a term of endearment.

Having had the "n" word shouted at me on a few occasions with all the venom and hate dripping of each syllable, I can tell you hearing this word hurled at you hurts just like "sticks and stones".

The Bible says in James 3:5-6 that the tongue (or what we say) can do enormous damage. One translation likens the damage to a tiny spark setting a great forest fire. I think that is obvious from the all the comments and postings I've read on Mr. Richards racist rantings.

All of these hurtful, evil, demeaning, and vicious racial slurs (used against various groups and cultures) need to stop. But that's easier said than done, as many of these words come deep within people.

The way to begin is for each of us to look within our hearts. Until we change what we believe about each other, until we accept each other...with all of our differences... this hateful language will continue. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

My two cents, anyway.

As Michael Richards went off on that now-famous tirade, thousands of soldiers are overseas protecting our right to share opinions like Richards did. While I do not agree with his choice of words or the way in which he spoke out, I feel that as Americans we must respect his right to say how he feels. From the movie "American President" comes a quote that is priceless. Loosely it states that the symbol of our country must not only be someone waving a flag but also a man on a street corner screaming words that hate most. This being said, why is that every time a celebrity says something that challenges the status quo they feel compelled to apologize? He said it. If you have a problem with it, move somewhere where the government restricts what you can and cannot say. What makes my blood boil the most now, is that the rude individuals who disturbed the show, are now prancing around trying to capitalize on the situation. That behavior is almost enough to warrant being called the word that started this whole situtation.

Siobhan - your comment "Have you ever thought that more blacks have lower test scores, are incarcerated and have fatherless households because of something like, I don't know, SLAVERY! Nothing that happens occurs independent of history".
How much longer do you want to hold on to that excuse? It's going on 150 years I think. So if I ask one of the African American men who makes up 1 of the thousands of inner city crimes or assults "why did you do it" - or if I ask the thousands of unwed mothers in the city, "why did you have unprotected sex with someone you don't love" -you think the answer I'll get is "slavery"? GOOD GRIEF

MITCHELL COMMENT:

What has any of this to do with Kramer's racist rant?

IM A MEXICAN AMERICAN MAN WHO LOVES CHICAGO BORN AND RAISED AND IM JUST SITTIN BACK AND WACHIN THIS WHOLE SITUATION WHAT MICHAEL RICHARDS SAID WAS KRAZY THAT WAS RACIST THAN A MOTHA.... IF U ALL CANT C THAT OR HAVE AN EXCUSE FOR IT I SWEAR UR A RACIST 2, U KNOW WHAT ELSE WAS KRAZY!! HOW WHEN HE WAS GOING OF ON STAGE THEIR WERE PEOPLE LAUGHING AT WHAT HE WAS SAYING I KNOW U ALL SEEN AND HEARD THAT IVE BEEN READING ALL THESE COMMENTS AND I C A LOT OF WHITE PEOPLE SAYING WHY BLACK PEOPLE GET MAD I C THEM SAYING WHITE BOY AND CRACKER ALL THE TIME IN THEIR COMEDY SHOWS THATS TRUE BUT IVE NEVER SEEN A BLACK COMEDIEN DO IT CAUS THEIR ANGRY OR TRYING TO FIGHT MICHAEL RICHARDS WAS MAD WHEN HE WENT OF I DONT C BLACK PEOPLE MAD WHEN THEIR ON STAGE A RACIST IS A RACIST AND MICHAEL RICHARDS AINT THE ONLY RACIST IN THIS COUNTRY THEIRS A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO THINK THE SAME WAY HE DOES.

GIVE HIM A BREAK FOR GODS SAKE.

Dave

To coin an over-used term, you're "spot-on". However you did neglect to point out that not only are Sharpton and Jessie racists, but they profit from being racists. Is this a great country or what? Wait, a few posts here say because of slavery, black people will always be disadvantaged. I reckon not...

Can't we all get along ??

I too am very disappointed in the way he handled the rude hecklers. As most people with common sense agree, When angry, WE ALL resort to a venom tongue and that does not always lead to an inner racist. Why if thats the case, what about the heckler? After talking load enough for all to hear him, IE; joking with friends, ordering drinks, and heckling, Then finally reply, " Cracker ass mother F@#%&*".
There is no such rule that it's ok to reply with racism if you are hit with it first unless you are in grade school!
Furthermore, I have been in plenty of situations, Plays, movies, etc.. that Black people find it their right to NOT take their conversations outside as to not disturb anyone and continue to annoy eveyone. Why many Black comics point this out too! Two way street once again. While Richards lost his cool and struck out wrongfully, there was the racism in another heart....the heckler.
Can paint one one way, and differently the other! Black people need to clean there own problems first before they go on a fact checking mission against everyone else who offends them. They do plenty themselves!

I think Dave said it best...Jessie can call NY "hymie-town", Sharpton can back an ill-conceived, money and racially motivated rape accusation, McKinney can blame her bad behavior on a racist senate security guard, and we're worried about a has-been comic who's also a racist? Move on...

Elvis, pertaining to your post on Nov.27 at 5:22 P.M. Have you ever heard of putting some periods in your post? Mike, I know what you mean about the behavior of blacks in a movie theatre. It was almost comical going to see a movie at the Evergreen Plaza theatre back in the 80's. I am sure it still is.

On 22 November 2006, reports surfaced that Richards had made remarks about Jews during a stand-up routine in April 2006 that could be regarded as anti-semitic. Richards called a heckler a "fucking Jew" and said "You people are the cause of Jesus dying." The publicist Richards hired after the fallout from his comments, Howard Rubenstein, confirmed the report, but added that the remarks were made as part of the comedy act. Rubenstein initially also added that Richards is himself Jewish,[21] although he later clarified that Richards has no Jewish ancestry, was not born into the Jewish religion, and has not converted to Judaism, although he "adheres to Jewish philosophy" and "had some very potent and important mentors in his life that were Jewish".

I wholeheartedly agree with poster syrita thomas's comment that "Although it offends me that Mr. Richards found it necessary to use the word "nigger", it does not bother me as much as his comments about "lynching".

I noticed that nearly all reports have chosen to focus on the n-word to confuse the facts of what was really said references to "lynching" make it very clear that this was not a joke or anything like the jokes said by other comedians white or black for that matter about race. Richards apologized on Letterman's show and I LMAO because he said I am really "busted up" over this thing. (I bet you are "busted up" that you got caught on film). I am still laughing at the fact that he calls upon Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to "apololie" about the comments as if blacks consider these two the pope john paul's of the community. Listen, fella you may be "busted up" now but get caught without a bodyguard in the wrong "hood" and you really will be "busted up" and hanging from a tree. I agree with the boycott of Seinfeld DVD sales on this one.

Jerry the theater in Evergreen Plaza was torn down 7 years ago. I know you are behind the times but that is too silly. Every Jew bring up the Holocaust and it happened 65 years ago. And I'm sure they will remind each other not to forget it happened 300 years from now.And beyond that. It's not a crutch but it symbolized something for Jews. There are non-Jews, who aren't black, who hate you too. Hate has a way of thriving when it should be gone from our society. The real shame is that so many people blogged beautiful and majestic blogs that should have made some people say; " you know,maybe that was racist and maybe I can see their point" and then some racist word or statement is spewed and the remark is glossed over. That just shows that people don't listen. They are so busy trying to get their racist remarks out that they fail to see reason. Mary doesn't enflame these people. She just put something out there and it takes a life of it's own. Some of you guys say you hate her and she's this and that,but you read her and respond to her. Negative or positive you respond. I don't like Neil Steinberg and I make it my business to skip his fullpage add for crap everytime I open the paper I live with my choice. Out of all the people who have blog sites in the Suntimes she has the most response. More than all of them together. Everyone wants an open dialogue on race and some of you guys just want to show your racist ideals. God Bless you because he'll have you in the end.

I have been reading all the accounts I can of the very sad and pitiful tirade Michael Richards indulged in that night at the Laugh Factory, and it is a shame that one very bad actor's comments sparks this controversy once again. The one theme that rings true in all the blogs, articles and commentaries I have read is that we, as a people, are still ready to fry a person for publically speakiing their mind. We are supposed to live in a society where we defend the right of "free speech", and just because an ignorant, washed up entertainer chooses to spew filth because he can't think of something better to say, we lower ourselves to his standard to allow any more dialogue on this very hurtful and hate-charged episode. As a black middle-aged woman, I have experienced racism in many forms, both personally and towards others. No white person is going to take away the pain we have as a people of losing all our identity, being shut out of opportunites in the workforce and generally being mistreated because of our race. If anything, lets use this situation to remind ourselves of how as a people we have (and can) rise above this very poisonous sterotype. I fear we will never see the end of the use of this word, but all people should realize the impact of your words can, in some cases continue a viscious cycle of hate and misunderstanding. The world right now is bad off enough, let's endeavor to be kinder to each other....all people, please.

i think that of all the comments that i read.. I really like what Leonard had to say because I completely agree. I think that blacks do need to respect themselves first.. because if they keep saying that word in reference to themselves.. then what makes you think that others are going to cease saying that word? If it is not ok for other classes to say it then it shouldnt be ok for blacks to say it. it doesnt matter if you are black and saying it because it doesnt make it ok. you are direspecting yourselves. quit. I am not a racist i just have an opinion. and the last thing that i want to say is that just because kramer is an idiot white who happened to drop the n bomb doesnt mean that ALL whites are the only ones who say it.. trust me i know.. i have heard many of different kinds say it so quit singling whites out.. because that is wrong. but basically, if you think about it you cant really stop someone from saying a word..freedom of speech.. you dont knw if someone is saying it right now.. you dont know if they are thinking it.. so by telling someone that they cant say a word is denying them their rights. people should just have respect enought o not say racial sllurs anyways

i'm 14 and people everywhere in my school and the area i live call eachother this i don't like the word and don't use it but the black people being called it don't mind but if they did the word would never be used

i think that a word can only have as much power as you give it. nigger is harsh and bone shivering because we as black people have let it be. very few of us even know the whole history of slavery and the meaning of the word in its essence. i use the word nigga and yes when u hear it come out of someone's mouth that isn't black it stings a lil but regardless whoever uses the word is wrong. i'm wrong and 90% of the rap wolrd is wrong. when i use the word i use it like a white person would, which is to show my disgust or disrepect for a certain individual. i would like to speak on one more thing which is how utterly ignorant we as a people look jumping all over this subject when we have many, MANY more issues at hand. lets stop playing the race card and pointing fingers and look within.

Hi Mary, Most African Americans in the neighborhood don't watch Seinfield and don't know who the Richards guy is anyway. They would of handle the situation with Mr. Richards that day. Lucky he was in the right club to avoid a beat down. The more professional and muture people are not supprise and treat this as stupidity. I just want to respond to the bloggers who seen to be just as ignorant. Imagine a race in which you started running 400 years ago and 400 years later your opponent gets to run, 40 years into the race your opponent should of caught up to you? WE WILL NEVER BE ON EQUAL GROUD UNLESS REMEDYS ARE PUT FORTH. This includes never resorting back to before. Cassius M. Williams

Mary,

Why did you edit out what I said? Do you not want all viewpoints expressed?


Derek

Mitchell Comment:

Derek, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Let me make one comment about this awful situation, as a black women who grew up poor in the projects and later moved to the "better part of town", I've seen a lot of points of views on this topic. I find it ridiculous that white people actually believe that we as black people should get over the brutalty, ensalvement, rapes, murders, etc that happened to our people. Do you tell Jews to get over the Holocaust? Of course not, and yet you want us to make forget the pain of hundreds of years, not to mention take it as a good joke? Whether of not we use that word amongst ourselves is of no concern to you. Tell me does that word cracker remind you of having little girls killed in church bombings or bodies being drug behind pick up trucks? I didn't think so. For too long we as a people have been suppressed and if some of us choice to use that word among brothers as a morphed idea of bonding brothers, insult or not, is OUR choice not yours. For years and years we have been unable to make direct eye contact, be seen in some public places, and even unable to say some things. How is it unreasonable for you to reframe from saying ONE WORD? Out of respect for those who died for the hope of one day obtaining that respect?

As an African American woman I am not mad at that idiot. He is just saying what most white people are too afraid to say.......to our face. We will always be the"n word" in their eyes.

Let me start off by saying that I am a black man, and was at first very offended by the show I've seen, now looking at another way of it. We do have use of the word often and must say that it doesnt matter who uses it if we are doing it ourselves. I have watched many comic show where "cracker" has been used (maybe not in the way Kramer lashed out, but still). BUT- I think Kramer was very brave, because if that had been me, he probably wouldnt have walked away from the incident as he did.

Here is something that cannot be refuted: Look at any modern country anywhere in the world and see what racial, ethnic or religious strife can do to a society. In Yugoslavia, the Serbs hated the Croats and Bosnian Muslims and vice versa. They had a relatively high standard of living - they exported things such as the Yugo. They had a healthy economy and a nice country - that is until they all turned on each other. What happened? Their country was destroyed, thousands and thousands of people were killed - yet at the end they all still had to live with each other - but in a country that is destroyed.

Look at Rwanda -the Hutus hated the Tutsis -they got what they wanted, and perhaps up to a million of innocents were killed and their country has still not recovered - and they still have to live with each other. The example can be replayed over and over again without exception. To have a large racial, ethnic, or religious group disenfranchised is bad for a country and can ultimately lead to it's downfall. Anyone who loves America must hate racism.

I reckon we now have a GWL joining our little discussion here. He goes by the name of S Gurke.

Some people already made this point but I will again. I think we'd all be hypocrites if we all said that we've never made any comments that we regreted later and didn't necessarily believe. When someone makes you really angry and you're trying to hurt them back you stoop to low levels. If the hecklers were women and he called them Cee U Next Tuesday's, what that make him a mysogynist? If they were fat and he called them fat asses, does that mean he hates fat people. Did Richards spew racist rhetoric, definitely, is he a racist, maybe. I think everyone has their prejudices, but not all of us are dumb enough to spew them in a comedy club. I think the hecklers trying to get money from Richards is more pathetic than Richards rant.

Just how many black people ACTUALLY HAVE ROOTS IN AFRICA?How many have tried to trace their heritage?Mary Mitchell, get over yourself!!!!

PERCEPTION RULES THE WHEEL...AS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN READING THE COMMENTS I SEE THAT NOTHING MUCH HAS CHANGED ABOUT THE PERCEPTION OF THE BLACK RACE....WE WANT THE SAME RESPECT AS OTHER RACES...WE SHALL PROBABLY NEVER WHOLEHEARTLY RECIEVE SUCH RESPECT. SADLY ENOUGH OUR WORLD CONTINUES TO BE DIVIDED BY COLOR.
STEROTYPICAL VIEWS OF ALL RACES NEED TO CHANGE...LOOK AT OUR CHILDREN THEY NEVER SEE COLOR

I am so sick of certain individuals(black and white)pointing out that slavery existed in Africa. Slavery existed all over the world but it didn't exist the same way it did in America! White Americans took it to a whole new level. As for the Civil War, blacks fought in that war as well, check your history. Now let's get something straight, Black Americans are not blaming any one person for slavery they are blaming the race as a whole. Granted you yourself are not responsible for slavery but your race is, that's something one must accept. Also how does one not see the effect of slavery on Black Americans today? Well, let's take a look. In slavery the man was removed from the family, the young girls were raped and breed having children out of wedlock and slaves could not learn to read and write. That training is still present today, unfortunately this is something that has been passed down thru the generations in a lot of families. You grow up without a father in the home then you can't see the importance of one being there. And you grow up with this attitude and the cycle continues. Most Black Americans have moved on from this but there are some who cannot get over the hump, and as a community we need to help those who can't help themselves. Lastly on to Richards, what he did was racially attacking black people what every real comedian does is tell race related jokes there's a difference, Jerry. I see the racist in you and I feel sorry for you. It's a shame that those of you on this page cannot see clearly what this guy is because of your own hatred but it's okay we love you anyway. Also, no matter how mad I get I don't resort to race. Because when someone does something to me I am not mad at what race they are I am mad at what they did to me. If you get mad at someone for kicking you, what does that persons race have to do with what they did? The best way to retaliate is to "bust they head down to the white meat" not call them some racial slur. LoL Lol

sorry about that

To Ant1,
Get your facts straight first. White people were NOT the only ones enslaving people and were not the first to do so. You need to look to the Middle East and Africa first. They were being sold by their own people as they still are NOW!
Go ask them for reperations...Ha, they'd tell you to go scratch! I agree with the other post...It's ok for Black people to act/say racist things but if anyone else does...forget it.
When will black people realize that WE ALL took part in ending slavery, Racism, not just blacks. As white people, we took crap from other whites for helping and yet here we go again. Throw a net over every white person for the comments of a few. Would you like us to do the same?
Get rid of the double standard and maybe black people would get more respect. One more example: Mayor Ray Nagan of New Orleans. The guy is a joke as Mayor, he does little to help during Katrina, then blames everyone else. I think we see a pattern here.
Chocolate city????? Where are the black protesters now? Oh, only if it benefits you, not the fellow humans you share this Earth with. That's Bull!

It's not only that he used the 'N' word. It's the hate and slavery remarks that showed his true colors.
By the way, Richards isn't Jewish, he just played a Jewish character, Krammer.
Personally I am Jewish and will not see anything with Richards in it ever again. I think people, especially, Afro Americans should put a 'ban' on Richards.

Many of these comments remind me of a line in the movie "An American President" with Michael Douglas. Near the end of the movie, his character (the president) gives a speech saying that freedom is the tolerance to allow someone to say things that really make one's blood boil but still acknowledge they have a right to speak the words. It appears most of the people writing here do not believe this country should have that much freedom.

I also find it interesting that the vast majority of the people who have written in find it necessary to say they are white, black, hispanic. Our great country can never really be free from racism until people until people see themselves as Americans. Using terms like African-American, Italian-American, Irish-American, Mexican-American, and similar names promotes racism by segregating the country into cultures instead of truly making this a melting-pot country.

*** I am so sick of certain individuals(black and white)pointing out that slavery existed in Africa. Slavery existed all over the world but it didn't exist the same way it did in America! White Americans took it to a whole new level.

That's right, the level of being banished. Slavery was an accepted institution globally and historically. Every race, culture, and nation state practiced it and every race was victim to it. That is until white British and white Americans challenged it, fought and suffered to end it, then pressured the other nations of the world to end it as well.

I'm sick of hearing how guilty America is for slavery when America was one of the two nations that started the global movement to end slavery. Never before in human history has slavery been minimized across the globe. Never before has the entire globe, every nation state, officially been against slavery. You can thank Britian and America for the fact that the modern world shuns slavery, a global first. Had they not taken a stand against slavery, it would be practiced and accepted globally to this day. I would like for once to hear how great Britian and America were for recognizing their sin and changing when no other nation in history had done the same.

And don't kid yourself thinking that African slaves some how suffered more than slaves throughout human history. You think the Romans were kind to the slaves they took in war? Or the Greeks? You think the Jews enjoyed being beat by Egyptians? Please....

*** Now let's get something straight, Black Americans are not blaming any one person for slavery they are blaming the race as a whole. Granted you yourself are not responsible for slavery but your race is, that's something one must accept.

You just gave us all a classic example of racism. A Nazi or KKK member could not have come up with a more racist statement. "Blaming the race as a whole..." is what drove the Nazis to gas Jews and the KKK to lynch blacks. In fact, what you just said is worse than anything that came out of Michael Richard's mouth. He has the excuse of being angry. But you, in calmness, have repeated the intellectual foundation for racism and stated you believe in it. Your idea in that sentence, that an entire race could be responsible for any act, especially 150 years after the fact, is more evil, more dangerous, and more racist than the "n word" could ever be, for that very idea is used to justify the "n word" and a thousand other racist words and acts by people who hate.

Examine yourself before that idea, that entire races can somehow be responsible for things, destroys you.

*** Also how does one not see the effect of slavery on Black Americans today? Well, let's take a look. In slavery the man was removed from the family, the young girls were raped and breed having children out of wedlock and slaves could not learn to read and write. That training is still present today, unfortunately this is something that has been passed down thru the generations in a lot of families.

If this is true, then why is it that...

* In 1960 3/4 of black children were born into a family with married parents, yet today only 1/3 of black children have both parents in the home (married or not).

* Only 18% of black women who married in the 1940's ended up divorced, about the same as white women. But 60% of the black women who married in the 1970's ended up divorced, much higher than white women although that statistic is getting worse to.

I've read numerous other statistics but those are the two I have on hand. They all show that black marriage and families had about the same stability in the first half of the 20th century as whites, but that marriage and family has decayed far faster for blacks in the second half. How can slavery be at fault? Did a generation of African American families just forget their "training"?

Marriage and family stability is a problem for the entire nation, but for some reason the decay has hit African Americans harder. I don't buy that slavery from 150 years ago is the reason.

*** Also, no matter how mad I get I don't resort to race.

You did resort to race. To blame the "white race" for slavery, and not just the specific people who participated in slavery in the past, is racist. As someone whose skin is white I take offense at that. You lump me in with slave traders because of the color of my skin. My father was Cherokee, and his race was still imprisoned on reservations decades after yours was free. My mother was Italian, and her family didn't arrive in America until 80 years after the Civil War. How can you blame my race, either one, for a slavery they had nothing to do with, on the basis of the color of my skin? Is that not the very definition of racism?

to Mary: BTW, you were saying "white boy" and "cracker" doesn't cut to the bone like the N-word does. Mary, some late-breaking news: It depends I suppose who you talk too. It DOES cut to the bone to any normal average intelligence white man. It does HURT.

I think anyone who uses the word "nigger" black or white, should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone who is not black, I don't think had the right to speak out about how it feels, or what blacks should do seeing as how they can't possible even begin to fathom what it feels like to be called that. "dish what you take out", "move on" etc...
I wish that people would see just how ignorant they sound. This has nothing to do with comedy, it has to do with pure racism. And how is it that you can classify a whole group of people by a select few? Hm...racism as its finest.

To the bleep bleep 'jerry' and all the other posters who whine about 'double standards' well look who in the HELL is talking!!! You snots whining about double standards is like a 57 year-old woman calling a 25 year-old woman an old maid you people wrote the damn BOOK on double standards so come off it. As for your comments about black comedians saying hateful things about white people well gosh golly gee will wonders never cease, you say something hateful and negative to others and now you complain because you are getting payback. Seems like YOU are the ones who can 'dish it out but not take it' so come off it payback's a real bitch ain't it much like some whiny posters. And apparently black people can't 'get over it' with 'slavery' because as the whole Micheal Richards incident as well as some posters proves that attitude HASN'T 'gone away' as far as you all are concerned so maybe that's why WE just 'can't get over it'. And no DUH you all didn't 'own' slaves but your attitude is no different than your ancestors and the only reason why some of you don't 'own' anybody is because you CAN'T but I wouldn't put anything past most of you snots bitching about how you didn't 'own' anybody. I'll bet if I followed you around with a hidden camera for a month I find your 'ancestors' mentality alive and well and many reasons to not just 'get over it'. This sounds very childish to say you started it but you DID start it and just like typical bullies on the playground you won't acknowledge your sordid little role in people making snide,hurtful jokes at YOUR expense. How's THAT for 'freedom of speech' not so when you all become a target eh?!! Furthermore jerry I KNOW you aren't whining about 'all' the supposed crimes by blacks against whites talk about look who in the bleep is TALKING!! Trust me you don't even want ot go there and I don't either because those few examples YOU gave would take me all month to match but since you want to play tit for tat let me remind you if black people actually DID get revenge for ALL the countless white on black murders in America there would be none of you left point blank. And you want to talk about black women who have babies out of wedlock well I guess that IS worse than being some middle-aged,middle class,suburban, 'soccer mom' who kills them but who can always use the old 'postpartum'. However for the person who brought up O.J. Simpson I DO want to go there you mean 'innocent' white folks like Laci Peterson right or how about innocent Martha Moxley or innocent little Jessica Lunsford or innocent Lana Clarkson. Or innocent Jessica Levin[despite what the media says] or innocent Lori Hacking or innocent Lisa Schoenfeld or innocent Sonny Von Bulow or the innocent wife of brit creep Neil Entwhistle or Bonnie Lee Bakely who I guess wasn't so innocent. That would explain why nobody had a DAMN thing to say about THOSE murder trials but the O.J. case got coverage 24/7 all day every day morning,noon, and night from midnight to daylight and all times in between. From Philly to Phoenix from New Mexico to New York and nobody utters a damn PEEP when it's a high profile murder case involving a white man talk about your double standards!!! Oh but I keep forgetting you all don't do that just like you never commit crimes are do or say anyhting bad or wrong or aren't responsible for any of the evil in the world or at least not in your little one. Or aren't responsible for the evil of your ancestors but you sure as hell don't mind continuing the cycle of bigotry and hatred talk about bringing it on yourselves even if you like to believe you are never at fault for anything even when are at fault for it all

To Lavern Morris, I would like to thank you for that racist rant you posted against my people. I am thanking you because there are too many naive white people out there who actually believe that black people like them and all they want is equal treatment. So thank you for laying your hatred and bigotry out there in the open for all of my people to see. Maybe my fellow white people will have your rant in mind when they have to decide between hiring a white person or a black person? And having your rant in mind will help them make the correct decision. Also, I will not lower myself to your ghetto, gutter level and call blacks "snots" like you did to my people.

I really liked Michael Richards on Seinfeld.
Hes a great comedian.
I love his work...

As far as this incident? No I don't like the things coming from his mouth at all. It was awful...

Yes...

But at the very same time, he was being severely heckled. They had no right to heckle him and expect him not to be upset.


Lets say the roles were reversed. If the roles were reversed, it would have not recieved the same kind of criticism in the media. It would have been considered plain old funny comedy if he was a black man and the hecklers were white guys harassing him.
Alot of people are responding to what happened with hatred on both sides of the coin on various forums etc...
Its really stupid because it only adds fuel to the fire...


They should not have heckled him.

The things he said to the jerk hecklers were wrong...but they had no right to do that to him in the first place.

They showed up behaving like ignorant jerks, and were treated as ignorant jerks...regardless of their color...

it doesn't matter.

THEY WERE IN THE WRONG TO BEGIN WITH....

point blank...

Love Seinfeld, love Kramer. Not a huge fan of Michael Richards anymore, though never considered or cared what he was like anyway. Acted like a complete moron of the highest degree, but Seinfeld is still the greatest sitcom of all time. To avoid it would be a crime against comedy, much like the actor's own shameful outburst.

Lavern Morris: You managed to post more hateful rubbish in one post than 20 other posters collectively.

By the by, O.J. received coverage because of his defense team and in large part Johhny Cochran who was indeed a media hound.

Be careful when you speak of "payback" too. What goes around comes around.

The "Negro" (MLK's term) slaves were treated badly by SOME slave owners, but history has documented that the majority of slaves were well treated. They actually lived better than poor white scrub farmers.

There is NOT one single white person today, born in the United States, who owes one damn thing to ANY person of color. People of color can get a job like anyone else. They can go to school like anyone else.

People of color absolutely hate to hear the truth about their own people selling them for profit centuries ago. If you MUST blame someone, blame the Africans who put their people on the block. Blame your own for being here today, in a FREE country, with all manner of social handouts unlike your cousins still stuck in poverty in Africa. Real rough eh?

I just think that if racist people hate us blacks so much ..they should of just picked their own cotton..and left us in Africa

joe

the hispanic male that posted back in Nov. I am from the West Indies and I think it is funny how Hispanics come to American because their lives sucked in their own country, only to get on welfare and shot up the neigborhoods etc. I submit, that while white America was busy trying to shut black folks out, you guys slipped in the back door. You want to be white but when you open your mouths it all comes out. Given a few years, you will have sucked America dry. It is not the blacks you should be worrying about white people, it is the hispanics. Hispanics are just as loud as blacks and you know it, the only thing that separates you from them is the color of your skin and your hair type. Stay out of it, you are not white. Look into your own history, although I suspect you already know.

I just think that if racist people hate us blacks so much ..they should of just picked their own cotton..and left us in Africa

Posted by: Christin | January 6, 2007 08:41 PM

Christin,
Do you realize that more white people are killed by blacks ANNUALLY than the total number of blacks lynched by whites over the last 100 yrs? Who hates who? How many blacks are assaulted by whites in this day and age? Don't give me hate crime statistics. You back yourself into a corner with them for two reasons:

#1- Though blacks make up 13% of the population, blacks make up 20% of perpetrators of hate crimes. Therefore, blacks commit hate crimes in excess of their population percentage.

#2- Although there is a VICTIM category for hispanics regarding hate crimes, there is NO PERPETRATOR category for hispanics. Don't believe me? Look up the latest hate crime statistics on the internet. They are readily available. When it comes to committing hate crimes, hispanic-on-black hate crimes, such as those occurring in California, magically become a white-on-black hate crime. Hispanic-on-black hate crimes boosts the white-on-black hate crime statistics, giving the appearance that whites commit more hate crimes than they realistically do. The question is, why are hispanics being lumped in with whites when it comes to committing hate crimes? This is an obvious attempt at inflating the numbers of white-committed hate crimes. If whites are committing hate crimes in such astronomical numbers, then why does the government feel the need to inflate white numbers even higher by adding hispanic hate crime perpetrators to the white perpetrator numbers? The answer is racial politics, out to keep us divided by giving the perception that whites are more racist than they are. That being said, white (including hispanic) hate crime perpetrators are STILL below the white only population percentage. Again, look it up if you don't believe me.

CNN recently conducted a poll which concluded that:

33% of blacks hate many or all whites, while...
26% of whites hate many or all blacks.

WHO HATES WHO? As you pointed out, I'm sure there are many that wish those white people way back then would have picked their own cotton. But it is obviously not blacks that feel this way. Read on.....

Regarding your remark about just leaving blacks in Africa, you know that secretly, you get on your knees and thank the Lord above that your ancestors were brought here to "pick that cotton". The alternative being the possibility of you and your prior generations having been raised in the chaos that is Africa. Chances are that you would be following modern day Africans that would give anything to come to this country that many blacks take for granted. American blacks today are a free people and planes travel to and from the "motherland" on a daily basis. Nobody can stop you if you ever put your actions where your mouth is and decided to relocate there. The truth is, everybody in America (including you and other saber-rattling blacks) are here because they WANT to be here in America. For blacks, the alternative of living in a predominantly black society such as found on the continent of Africa is just not a very appealing alternative, compared to remaining in a majority white society. Blacks would lose their excuses for their massive failures without whites around to blame. I guess, sometimes the grass is not always greener, huh? Hypocrites, all!

Christin, you are absolutely correct. The worst thing that ever happened to whites today was slavery. Just imagine this country without any ancestors of slaves.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on November 21, 2006 12:19 PM.

Enough of this selfishness: Time for black men to act like men was the previous entry in this blog.

Banning the "n" word is the next entry in this blog.

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